The 2017 Top 1,000 Survey by The Irish Times has painted a picture of Irish industry emphatically on the rebound, with the 1,000 top Irish companies generating total gross sales of €489bn, far in excess of Ireland’s €262bn GDP for last year.
The figures are stellar, but the future is uncertain. However, right now, Irish industry is on the rebound.
At the top of the Irish Times list of 1,000 companies—ranked on the basis of annual turnover—was the building materials group CRH, which has recorded a €27.1bn turnover to the end of April 2017, and a profit of €1.7bn.
Following close on CRH’s heels is Medtronic, with a turnover of €26.6bn (courtesy of a €300m profit boost during the year). The company acquired the surgical supplies group Coven in a deal worth €50bn in 2015. The staggering net €4.1bn in profits it recorded for 2017 makes it Ireland’s most profitable company.
In third place, up one slot since the last Top 1000 survey, was Google, with turnover of €22.6bn, while Microsoft, a former topper of the influential Irish Times league table, has fallen a further two places to fourth.
The power management company, Eaton Corp was ranked fifth in this survey of top Irish companies, and the remaining five companies in the top 10 were DCC, Allergen, Ingersoll-Rand, Dell Ireland, and Oracle.
Just outside the leading 10 of the top Irish companies to feature in the survey were Facebook (up five places to 15th place in this year’s survey), Ryanair (up five to 15th place) and Dunnes Stores.
The survey also shows the extent of the recovery of the Irish banks. Only 7.5 percent of the financial institutions are in the red, while the Central Bank, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and Depfa Bank are all strongly back in the black.
In their introduction to the survey, The Irish Times pointed out that the survey show “stellar growth rates and outsize profits” from the Irish-based companies, particularly in the face of the UK’s Brexit vote, US President Donald Trump’s declared protectionist policies, and “the introduction of new tax rules aimed at limiting profit shifting”.
While the future remains uncertain for now, The Irish Times concluded its roundup of the survey on a positive note.
“Whether [the growth rates and profits] can continue in the face of… challenges, remains to be seen of course. But for now, this year’s picture is largely one of industry rebounding.”
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