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Sales of Top 1,000 is more than double that of Irish GDP

Apple is the new top company In Ireland with sales of €119bn according to the 2018 edition of The Irish Times Top 1,000 Companies.

Disclosures made last year as part of a European Commission into its tax affairs revealed that Apple puts all its sales outside of the US through Ireland and as a result of its massive turnover it dominates the 2018 listings.

To put the figures in context, CRH, Ireland’s leading indigenous company, a previous holder of the top spot is back in second on a turnover of €27.5bn while Medtronic is in third on €26.6bn.

One of the most notable movers this year is Facebook which claimed a Top 10 spot for the first time jumping from 13th place to 9th on the back of a 60% jump in revenues.

Google has held onto fourth place while Microsoft a former leader in the survey has slipped to fifth. Apart from CRH the only other indigenous Irish company in the Top Ten is DCC in seventh.

Overall, Top 1,000 companies reported gross sales of a staggering €622bn, up by 27% on last year’s survey, although if you omit Apple’s figures the growth rate drops to 5%.
This means that the gross turnover of Ireland’s Top 1,000 companies is 2.3 times Ireland’s GDP which is €270bn.

Fiona Reddan, Editor of The Irish Times Top 1000, said it’s not just turnover which is increasing, so too are company profits.

“The profits of Ireland’s Top 1,000 companies increased by 7% to €36.3bn compared to last year’s survey and by a staggering 62% on 2015. Given that so many multinational companies including the likes of Apple, Penneys, Boston Scientific etc do not report financial figures for their Irish operations, the true profit figure is likely to be considerably more than €36bn.”

Nine companies posted pre-tax profits of more than €1bn with Medtronic retaining its tag of the Top 1,000’s most profitable company with €4bn in profits.  New on the list of most profitable companies this year is Google, which claims seventh position with €1.4bn of profits. Irish companies to make the list include CRH (€2bn), Ryanair (€1.5bn), Kerry Group (€691m) and Smurfit Kappa (€576m)

However, given their recent history, it’s the banks which make most of an impression on the Top Ten most profitable list with the Central Bank in fourth place having just reported record profits of €2.6bn for 2017. Also enjoying bumper profits are AIB (€1.3bn) and Bank of Ireland (€852m)” Reddan said.

In the red

Elsewhere, some other companies continue to rack up losses. In 2017 Tullow Oil reported losses of €243m, the fourth year in a row it has gone into the red. Horizon Pharma, the Irish founded specialty pharmaceutical company saw its losses widen to €418m last year while Amaris Hospitality, Lone Star’s hotel investment and hospitality group reported a loss of €120m. After turning itself around in 2014, Ulster Bank slipped into the red again last year, reporting an operating loss of €151m as it increased the amount it set aside to deal with the tracker mortgage scandal.

Rising Stars

Keyword Studios, which creates global services platforms for video games is one of the new names in the Top 1,000 this year, coming in at number 839 on turnover of €26m. Paddy McKillen jnr’s Press Up leisure and hospitality company, the country’s largest and fastest-growing pub and restaurant group is another new entrant at 704. The company, which counts The Dean Hotel and Stella Cinema among its portfolio, is reported to be eying a potential stock market listing in the coming years.

The Irish Times Top 1,000 companies 2018 is published in a magazine in today’s newspaper while the information is also available on a dedicated website, www.top1000.ie

This year the Top 1,000 has been published to coincide with the Irish Times Business Awards which were held in the Mansion House (May 9th). Siobhán Talbot received The Irish Times Business Person of the Year Award, CRH was named the Company of the Year while Mark Fitzgerald, Chairman and Co-founder of Sherry Fitzgerald received The Irish Times Top 1,000 Distinguished Leader in Business Award.