Construction pioneer Merit sees sales and profits increase as large health insurance contracts close

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Northumberland construction company Merit Holdings is toasting rising revenue and profits from lucrative contracting within its healthcare arm.

Cramlington, which has nearly doubled its workforce to more than 220 employees in the last two years, has built a solid reputation for working on complex, high-tech contracts across a range of sectors including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, and manufacturing Retail, Commercial and Nuclear.

Less than two years ago, the specialist engineering and construction company – a former Northeast Company of the Year – launched Merit Health to recognize its expertise in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Since its inception the company has won and completed a number of significant projects including a £66m scheme at Stevenage and the expansion of CPI’s rapid response facility at Darlington.

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Now the company – which erects at least 75% of projects externally at its Northumberland facility – has released financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2021 showing sales for the 41.8 million -month period.

Similarly, operating profit increased from £806,103 for the 15 months ended 30th June 2020 to £1.043m for the following year.

CEO Tony Wells said the creation of the healthcare division drove growth.

He said: “Driving innovation and productivity has always been a key focus for Merit who, along with opening our first offsite factory in 2004, have integrated offsite construction into our offering. However, the last three years have presented an opportunity to completely rethink the way complex plants are designed and built. After significant R&D and investment in an innovative design and build platform for high technology healthcare and biopharmaceutical applications, we now have a range of patent pending, externally manufactured products of which 75% to 95% of the building can be manufactured in our Northumberland factories and transported to site installation.

“This year’s results demonstrate increased adoption of these products, particularly for our specialty healthcare division, Merit Health, which launched in April 2020.

“Merit Health has provided key healthcare buildings here in the North East, designed and built the Northumbria Trust’s new sterile services facility in just over a year and CPI’s new mRNA center of excellence in just eight and a half months, and has also been awarded two major projects to support the new to design and build Piramal’s antibody-drug conjugate manufacturing facility in Grangemouth, and our largest project to date, to build Autolus’ new £66m CAR-T cell therapy manufacturing facility in Stevenage.

“Using our platform, these buildings are delivered in almost half the time compared to traditional methods and are designed with zero carbon emissions, while achieving lower energy consumption and high-quality environmental conditions required for manufacturing healthcare products and biopharmaceuticals. “

Looking ahead, Mr Wells said the company will achieve record revenue this year and said the company has supported 50 apprenticeships over the past six years. He said Merit has successful partnerships with Northumbria University and Newcastle University, which have been instrumental in supporting its graduate recruitment programme, with over 20 graduates joining in the past two years.

He added: “We remain a major employer in the North East, now employing 225 people and supporting the Leveling Up agenda with sustainable, long-term career opportunities.

“We anticipate significant growth from these new projects with record sales expected in 2022 and expect further dramatic increases in 2023 and beyond.”

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