BAM Ireland, the construction company behind the controversial new National Children’s Hospital being built in Dublin, posted a pre-tax profit of €10.7m last year, compared with a near €17m loss in 2020.

Revenue at the firm jumped to €626m from €461m.

The National Children’s Hospital beside St James’ Hospital will be among the single most expensive pieces of infrastructure ever built in Ireland when it’s eventually complete.

The huge construction project has been beset with significant difficulties and was a major reason that BAM Ireland posted a loss in 2020. The Irish unit is part of the Netherlands-based Royal BAM Group.

When approval was first given for the construction of the hospital, it was anticipated it would be finished in 2020, with construction costs of about €650m.

It’s now not expected to be finished until 2024, and the cost will likely be more than even a revised estimate of close to €1.5bn.

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BAM Ireland said that despite challenges faced across the construction sector in 2021, it continued to progress a number of key projects, including the National Children’s Hospital.

It added that a “significant milestone” was achieved with the “substantial completion” of the outpatient and emergency care units for Children Hospital Ireland Tallaght, a satellite site to the main campus being built in the city.

BAM Ireland noted that during 2021, it also completed the so-called ‘topping-out’ of the main children’s hospital at its highest point.

The company said that last year it was awarded contracts for the construction of the Athy distributor road, a package of new-build national schools in Dublin and Cork as part of a joint venture, and for works on a £1.2bn (€1.4bn) project being undertaken by Northern Ireland Water.

The Sunday Independent reported last month that during a results call, the chief financial officer of the BAM group, Frans Den Houter, said the Irish hospital project is now 71pc complete.

“It’s a large project, and there’s a lot of media attention for it,” he said. “It’s a state-of-the-art hospital,” he added. “So we’re really proud that we can contribute to building it. And there is a lot of discussion about extra work and variation orders and design.”

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