Industry & Business

Top 250 Exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland 2015

Top 250 Exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland 2015

Top 250 Exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland 2015
September 22
10:37 2015

Investec & Irish Exporters Association: FDI companies dominate Ireland’s export industry

-Investec Sponsored Irish Exporters Association Report shows significant growth in export sales with value of top five exporters increasing by 23.5% year-on-year-

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton officially launches Top 250 Exporters

Dublin. Monday, 21st September, 2015: The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD today launched the 2015 edition of Top 250 Exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The report is published by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA), in association with Investec, a leading specialist bank. Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd (Microsoft) was named the largest exporting company, moving up one place from its previous year’s ranking, replacing Google which held top spot last year.

Data from the report shows stellar growth in the manufacturing and services sectors with the value of exports from the top five exporters increasing by 23.5% on the previous year. Microsoft’s export turnover increased by 21%, from €15 billion in 2014 to €18.2 billion in 2015. Microsoft was followed by Google Ireland Ltd with export turnover of €17bn, Medtronic Ireland (3rd, export turnover of €16.7bn), Johnson & Johnson in Ireland (4th, export turnover of €10.5bn) and Ingersoll Rand plc (5th, export turnover of €9.8bn).

Of the Top 20 companies listed, nine of them are focused within the ICT arena with seven in the Medical and Pharma sectors.

Launching the report, Minister Bruton said: “At the heart of our jobs strategy since day one has been supporting an export-led recovery. Through our Action Plan for Jobs our aim has been to respond rapidly to the needs of exporting companies with new supports, and get out of the way when needed. Our exporting companies, both Irish and multinational, have delivered extraordinary achievements over the past four years, with year after year of record export results, and record levels of job-creation. Almost half of the 125,000 extra jobs that have been created have been in exporting companies. I am delighted to have this opportunity to formally recognise the incredible achievements of our exporting companies, wish them every success for the future, and pledge that we will continue to provide the supports you require to deliver the increased sales and ultimately the jobs we all need”.

Speaking at this morning’s event, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association, said, “Irish exporters have and continue to play a significant role in the recovery of the Irish economy. While there have been some favourable developments such as Quantitative Easing in our largest single trading partner, the UK, and a continued strong dollar, that have helped make Irish exports more competitive, the success has also been built on strong foundations of quality, innovation and an underlying cost competitive proposition. However, a weak sterling and dollar will not remain a constant and we need to grow exports in more diverse markets in tandem with ensuring our competitiveness is not comprised by pressures on wages and other input costs in what remains a crucial stage in Ireland’s economic recovery. Any measures that are taken in the forthcoming pre-election budget that weaken our national competitiveness will not be received well by the exporting businesses in this country”

Aisling Dodgson, Head of Treasury, Investec, said: “Investec is pleased to partner with the Irish Exporters Association for the fifth time in publishing this report which gives a great insight into the health of Irish exports and the performance of each of the sectoral areas. As a specialist bank providing treasury and other banking services to exporters, we have seen at first hand the huge increase in exports from both the manufacturing and services sectors and how that has been a key driver of our return to economic growth.

The latest data produced by Investec via its monthly Manufacturing and Services PMI reports show clearly that 2015 has been a vintage year to date with sentiment showing it looks set to continue. With such significant currency movements caused by QE, among others, Investec’s Treasury services have played an important role in helping exporters hedge currency risks and given greater certainty to help business development.

The success enjoyed by exporters has not happened in a vacuum and organisations like Irish Exporters Association have been instrumental in supporting and facilitating the growth achieved.”

James O’Connor, Managing Director of Microsoft EMEA Operations Centre commented: “Microsoft is celebrating 30 years of investment in Ireland this year. Over the past three decades we have continued to invest in, and grow our operations and now have over 1,200 people working in a range of areas including R&D, engineering, finance, legal services, sales and marketing. Over that time we have contributed significantly to the economy in Ireland and – through our citizenship activities have helped to increase access to personal computing across all parts of society through our grant giving, educational initiatives, disability and youth focused programmes. We look forward to further deepening our roots in the thirty years ahead as Microsoft works in partnership with our customers, partners and employees to help people and organisations in Ireland achieve more. The recognition by the Irish Exporters Association is welcomed during this important year of celebration for the company in Ireland.”

Key Highlights from the 2015 Top 250 Exporters include:

Food and Drink Sector

The Top Five Irish Food Exporting Companies (€ exports)

Kerry Group plc €5.2 billion
Total Produce €3 billion
ABP Food Group €2.4 billion
Ornua (Irish Dairy Board) €2.3 billion
Glanbia plc €2 billion
Ian Hunter, Equity Analyst, Investec, and author of the independent report on the food and drink sector, said: “Food and drink manufacturing is the most important indigenous industry in Ireland employing over 50,000 directly and 180,000 indirectly in farming and support industries. The sector accounted for 7.2% of Ireland’s gross value added (GVA), 12.3% of Ireland’s total exports and 8.8% of total employment in 2014. Of the €26bn annually generated by the sector, 40% (€10.5bn) is exported to over 120 countries worldwide. The rest meets the majority of Ireland’s grocery and food service requirements. The UK remains our biggest export partner (40%), which makes Ireland its largest supplier of food and drink. A further 31% of exports are to the rest of Europe, with the remaining 29% spread across the rest of the globe.

Food and drink-related exports now total €10.5bn with strong growth in the dairy and beef categories having driven a 10% per annum increase over the past five years. Meat and livestock exports continue to account for roughly a third of all exports, while dairy products and ingredients, including infant formula, make up a further 30%. These traditional export categories have more recently been augmented with an increasing number of “craft” and “home baked/brewed” offerings, enhancing Ireland’s reputation for taste and quality.”

Life Sciences Sector

The Top Five Pharma and Med-Tech Exporters

Medtronic Ireland €16.7 billion
Johnson & Johnson Ireland €10.5 billion
Activas (Warner Chilcott plc & Allergan plc) €9.5 billion
Pfizer Global €7 billion
Kerry Group plc €5.2 billion
Ian Hunter, Equity Analyst, Investec and author of the independent report on the Life Sciences sector, added: “Over the past 15 years, the life sciences sector has developed into one of the core contributors to the Irish economy with approximately 120 companies locating plants in Ireland including 9 of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. While the Irish pharmaceutical industry remains strongly manufacturing-focussed with multinationals having established production bases in the country with little to no R&D capability, the situation has improved over the past three years with significant input from companies such as Wyeth (acquired by Pfizer) into biotech research facilities. Although the ongoing loss of patents is a concern, there is the potential for Ireland to broaden its pharmaceutical offering into drug discovery. It has the educated population to fuel such development and with a growing reputation as multi-nationals gain traction in the field in Ireland, this could prove an area of opportunity going forward.

Although drugs coming off patent could prove a short-term threat to the value of exports, not only are the pharma companies developing new drugs to replace those lost to generic competition but Ireland’s move up the value chain (a greater proportion of exports in completed products and increased R&D spend) augurs well for the continued health of the sector.”

Review of the IFSC

The Top Five IFSC companies by sales are:

Hannover Re (Ireland) €1.9 billion
AAReal Bank AG €1.65 billion
Citibank Europe plc €1.58 billion
Depfa Bank €1.25 billion
Canada Life International €1.2 billion
John Cronin, Banking Analyst with Investec, and author of the independent report on the IFSC, said, “The Irish Financial Service sector has now grown to become a material contributor to Irish economic performance and is an important factor in the context of the 3.3% current account surplus. Indeed, the sector now employs 35,000 persons directly and supports many further indirect jobs.

The scale and impact of the sector continues to increase year-on-year as evidenced by an almost doubling of employment between 2004 and 2014 from 20,000 to 35,000. This level of growth will surprise many given the expansion in employment occurred during an unprecedented banking crisis. It is Investec’s view to expect continued rapid growth in this sector driven by a combination of factors including Ireland’s location advantage, the competitive corporate tax rate, the well-educated English-speaking workforce, and the robust legal and regulatory framework. This view is echoed in the Government’s IFS2020 strategy which envisages the creation of 10,000 further jobs in the sector by 2020.”

Northern Ireland Exports

The Top Five Export Companies in Northern Ireland

Glen Electric £845 million
Caterpillar (NI) Ltd £795 million
Moy Park Ltd £750 million
Dunbia £650 million
Bombardier Aerospace Europe £545 million

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