Northern Ireland PLC boasts record year as revenues soar

Andrew Richards, Moy Park commercial director UK & RoI, pictured with Ulster Business editor David Elliott
Andrew Richards, Moy Park commercial director UK & RoI, pictured with Ulster Business editor David Elliott

Northern Ireland’s top ranked firms have defied political and economic uncertainty to produce a record turnover.

The top 100 companies in 2017, as determined by Ulster Business magazine, saw collective revenues rise by £322 million to hit an all time high of £23.3 billion with Moy Park leading the field for the sixth year in a row.

The list, sponsored by law firm A&L Goodbody and now in its 28th year, ranks companies by turnover to give an indication of how much they put in to the Northern Ireland economy.

Profit also climbed by 16% to £932.7m from £804m.

Ulster Business editor David Elliott said the performance indicated the resilience and energy of local firms.

“To have posted such a solid performance in light of the uncertainty created by Brexit and the stalemate at Stormont highlights the robustness of our biggest companies,” he said.

“They have concentrated on growing their businesses in the prevailing conditions and proved once again to have the talent and industry to compete with the best in the world.”

Once again it was the the dominant agri-food sector that produced fsome fo the best performing firms with poultry processing giant Moy Park leading the pack on a recorded turnover of £1.437bn last year, up from £1.379bn the year before.

“We’re hugely excited to be named number one in the Ulster Business Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies listing, an achievement which is all down to our brilliant people,” said CEO Janet McCollum.

“I’ve had the privilege to work in this business for 25 years and the passion and commitment of our people is second to none.”

Grain importer and feed manufacturer W&R Barnett took second place with sales of £946m, up an impressive £131m on the previous year while red meat processor Dunbia was third with £788m, down £39m.

New entrants include Fivemiletown-based clothing manufacturer Cooneen by Design, Carrickfergus engineering company Ryobi Aluminium Casting, Ballymena meat processor Cranswick Country Foods, Enniskillen engineering firm Severfield (formerly Fisher Engineering), energy infrastructure company Mutal Energy, Dungannon screening equipment engineer McCloskey International and energy infrastructure firm GE Grid Solutions.

Mark Thompson, Head of Belfast Office at A&L Goodbody which sponsored the magazine, said the Top 100 companies have put in a sterling performance.

“Yet again, each of the companies has made a hugely significant contribution to the Northern Ireland economy over the past 12 months,” he said.

“They have created hundreds of new jobs and supported many thousands more.

“They have each reported inspiring stories of success at home and abroad, underpinned by investment, innovation, R&D and export.”