The company now known as Profast started life in Ballymena, Northern Ireland in 1956, as Pipeflow Products Ltd, serving the needs of customers like Monsanto, DuPont, ICI and many more. The success of the business enabled the company to acquire the Belfast branch of a Chandlery business called J.C. Westwood, a Liverpool based company, and the merged business moved into Belfast and changed its name to Pipeflow Westwood Ltd.
The business continued to be very successful and changed hands again in the late sixties when it was acquired by serial entrepreneur, Samuel Jordan, who already had a string of very successful businesses. One of those businesses, Tobacco Distributors, was run by Brian Bell and his name was to come to prominence in the history some years later.
In the quest for further expansion, opening a branch in Dublin was to be the next development and Pipeflow Westwood (Irl) Ltd was formed in 1977 and commenced operations in Western Ind Estate, Dublin 12 in 1978 and has been in business ever since. This coincided with Brendan Flynn joining the company, who was to become a future owner but not before another change of ownership was to take place in 1982 when the company was acquired by Brian Bell and Mike O’Grady.
In 1995, Profast Group was formed as the acquisition vehicle for a management buyout lead by Brendan Flynn with the backing of ICC, (now Bank of Scotland) and Ulster Bank. The following year, Dublin and Belfast operations adopted the new Profast name and as one chapter of our history came to an end, a new generation of staff are now adding to that history.
The first acquisition after the buyout occurred in 1996 when Furniture Fixings UK Ltd, a small company based in Alfreton, Derbyshire employing 6 people, was acquired. Some years later, the company moved to a new purpose-built unit of 16,000 sq. ft. in Denby, Derbyshire, and the name was changed to Aptus Fastener Systems Ltd. The company now employs 23 and is supplying some of the biggest names in the UK market.
The following year, the Group acquired Toolfast Ltd, based in Tamworth, Staffs, and this company specialises in supplying pre-packed fasteners to OEM’s who produce products in KD form. The company has established a good reputation in its market and offers a bespoke service for all types of Fasteners, Fixings and special items to suit individual customer needs. The company is now located on the same premises as Aptus Fastener Systems and following a name change, now trades as Profast UK Ltd.
In 2006, the company restructured its business in Ireland and changed the focus of our activity from our location to our products. The Window & Door Hardware product range was centralised into the Belfast company while all the Fasteners and Fixings were centralised into Dublin with both companies servicing the island of Ireland. The restructuring lead to the formation of Fortus Hardware Ltd, based in Belfast and all sales of Window and Door Hardware and Duco Louvres were transferred into this company.
This paved the way for re-establishing the Profast name in Northern Ireland as a Distributor of Fasteners, Fixings, and Mechanical Support Systems.
The product range of the Group companies falls into three distinct categories which are very much focussed towards construction and manufacturing. The range is listed as Fasteners, Fixings, Mechanical Support Systems, Window & Door Hardware and Fabricated Louvre Panels. We also supply a very wide range of complementary products such as Door Track and Accessories for commercial applications, Tools, Sealants, and PPE.
Profast has a certified Quality Management System to I.S. EN ISO 9001:2015 for the marketing and distribution of industrial fasteners and fixings to the construction industry.
We are survivors, having faced and emerged from one of the most difficult periods ever experienced in the construction industry and we look forward to serving the needs of our customers for many years to come.