Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 09:38 UK

Quinn Group to 'defy recession'

Sean Quinn started with a single quarry on his father's farm
Sean Quinn started with a single quarry on his father's farm

The Quinn Group, owned by Fermanagh businessman Sean Quinn, has said it expects to make profits of up to 500m euro this year despite the recession.

In a trading update on its website, the group said the first quarter of 2009 had been a "challenging period", and trading levels were down.

The group said it had "resisted the temptation to reduce prices to below economically sustainable levels".

Quinn said sales of cement and related products had fallen by 40%.

However, sales of insulation products, glass and packaging products had been better than expected.

The update said its health insurance business Quinn Healthcare now had 500,000 customers, while the hotels and leisure division "has continued to trade positively" though average consumer spend has reduced.

In all the company expects to make profits in 2009 of between 400m and 500m euro and is forecasting that figure should 'increase significantly' in 2010.

The privately owned Quinn Group is headquartered at Derrylin in County Fermanagh and employs about 8,000 people in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Mr Quinn and his family lost more than 1bn euro through a disastrous investment in Anglo Irish Bank which damaged the Quinn Group's profits in 2007 and 2008.

Meanwhile the normally publicity-shy Mr Quinn has also announced that his company has set up a You Tube channel having 'recognised the growing popularity and commercial necessity of online digital presentation'.

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