Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Top 100 companies continuing to shine

Nigel Dunlop, MD of Moy Park

The 100 biggest companies operating in Northern Ireland have, on average, managed to grow profit, turnover and employment over the last year.

The results were revealed today in the Belfast Telegraph Northern Ireland Top 100 Companies magazine - which ranks firms according to employment numbers - and were achieved in a challenging economic climate.

"The survey shows, slightly to our surprise, that the largest private sector companies in Northern Ireland have shown considerable resilience in tackling the recession," economist John Simpson, who compiled the list, said. "The results for the last year show that despite other forebodings, profitabiliy, on average, has improved."

As a whole, pre-tax profit for the Top 100 Companies climbed 17%, excluding losses accounted for by the banks and Quinn Group. In the 2012 list compared to the previous year, turnover climbed 2.7% and employment climbed 5.1%.

The upturn ends a run of two consecutive years of decline across all three measures in 2009 and 2010 which marked the downturn in the Northern Ireland and global economy and while the majority of firms have performed well, the results aren't true for all companies.

Of the 100 on the list, 12 firms posted pre-tax profits above £15m while five posted a net loss of more than £1m.

There was no change at the top with poultry processor Moy Park once again taking the number one spot with total employment of 10,594 and turnover of £921m. It was followed by supermarket Tesco with 8,597 employees and turnover of an estimated £1,205m and aerospace company Bombardier which employs 4,975 people on turnover of £487m.

New entrants to the list include a return for Fermanagh firm Quinn Group, which dropped out of the list last year because it wasn't able to supply up-to-date information due to pending management changes, Newry-based software company First Derivatives and scientific camera maker Andor Technology.

Leaving the list are MacNaughton Blair, Mivan, Glen Electric, Henry Group, B&Q and Howden UK.