Belfast Telegraph

Bright signs for building as new names in Top 100

By David Elliott

Four new companies have made it on to the definitive list of Northern Ireland's biggest 100 companies.

The Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies magazine, in association with Barclays, published tomorrow, will reveal that three of the new entrants are from the construction industry, proof that some firms are managing to defy difficult conditions in the sector.

Keystone Lintels, FP McCann and McAleer and Rushe have all made an appearance, or reappearance on this year's list along with food company Karro, the new name for the Vion Holdings pig processing company in Cookstown. Keystone Lintels makes and supplies products to the construction industry although its main shareholders have interests in McAleer and Rushe.

The Cookstown company is a large contractor in the building industry which has managed to increase its workload in the last few years by bidding for projects outside of Northern Ireland.

FP McCann is a family controlled business based in Magherafelt which focuses on civil engineering contracts, quarrying and the manufacture of precast concrete products.

Making way for the new entrants were four companies leaving the Top 100 list. The most high profile of those is Patton Group, the Ballymena builder which collapsed last year. Economist John Simpson, who compiled the list, said the changes are part of the evolution of the Northern Ireland economy.

"Over the last decade the composition of the Top 100 companies has changed dramatically," he said. "In total over 50% of the names on this 2013 list were not included (in this form) in 2000."

And the changes are just as dramatic over the last 10 years.

"Of the 100 businesses listed in 2002, today in 2012 only 60 still survive. Alternatively, the headline can be stated the other way round: the list published today contains 40 names that were not there ten years ago. Because the average employment provided by businesses in the list has grown by 12%, that gives some reassurance about the dynamic of the private sector."

Belfast Telegraph