Mincon has reported a 14% increase in operating profit in the first half of 2019 as the firm worked through a backlog of orders.

However the Clare-headquartered engineering firm also warned of a softening market during the period.

Mincon recorded an operating profit of €6.9m in the six month period, as revenues rose 8% to €59.9m.

That pace of revenue growth is slower than the firm has seen in recent years.

Mincon's CEO Joe Purcell said the softer market conditions created a number of challenges for the business and had impacted its margin and momentum.

"[This] led to a build-up in inventory, a capacity coming on-stream in excess of current sales levels and an overhead level that requires growth to support it", he said.

The business had also changed its regional business model in the period, taking on a 'challenger' approach rather than the one used by market leaders.

Mincon said it was also hoping to gain access to new contracts through its acquisition of Driconeq, which it said would allow it to tender directly to mines.

"We are not immune to the increased volatility of world markets as large economies engage in tariff battles, exchange rates fluctuate, and low wage producers aggressively target markets in which we sell as they redirect production away from where they face higher barriers to trade," the company said in its half year results. "We have seen softening in the margins, which we have taken steps to mitigate through the wide-ranging, deep review of our businesses, business model, and cost base."

"We aim to return to growth as the new contracts come on stream through the second half. Our factories are very well specified and equipped with modern plant, and we have the capacity required for further growth."