Belfast Telegraph

Earnings at Northern Ireland's top 100 companies rise 10% in a year to almost £25bn

From left: Michael Neill, head of office at A&L Goodbody; Flavio Malnarcic, Moy Park chief financial officer, and Ulster Business editor John Mulgrew
From left: Michael Neill, head of office at A&L Goodbody; Flavio Malnarcic, Moy Park chief financial officer, and Ulster Business editor John Mulgrew
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Sales at Northern Ireland's biggest earning companies increased by almost 10% to close to £25bn last year, it has emerged.

However, despite the rising revenues, the profits for some of the biggest firms came under pressure in the past 12 months.

The top 100 companies 2019 list, produced by Belfast Telegraph sister publication Ulster Business, ranks Northern Ireland businesses by annual turnover.

It showed that revenues rose by 9.4% to £24.8bn. But among those firms, pre-tax profits fell from £1.05bn to £894.7m last year.

Ulster Business said that was in part due to "large flips" from some of the bigger companies.

Poultry giant Moy Park has retained the top spot on the list for the eighth year running, posting sales of more than £1.5bn, 7.6% up on its table-topping performance in 2018.

In a year in which the business was sold to Colorado-based Pilgrim's Pride for £1bn, the company reported an 8% rise in pre-tax profits to £64.5m.

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New entrants to the list this year include Portadown aircraft seat manufacturer Thompson Aero Seating, which shot in at number 69 with turnover of more than £105m.

Ballymena-based McBurney Transport entered the list at 91 with an annual turnover of £83m, while Magherafelt construction firm Henry Group claimed the number 83 spot with a turnover of £88.6m.

Ulster Business said the bar for breaking into the top 100 rose by £12m on last year.

Editor John Mulgrew said: "This year's list, more so than any list before, is a reflection of the performance of firms in the wake of post-referendum uncertainty.

"It paints another extremely interesting picture of Northern Ireland's diverse and evolving business landscape and - while stalwarts of industry remain in growth mode - the raft of firms within life sciences, technology and other emerging industries are beginning to rise up the list with burgeoning turnover."

Michael Neill, partner at A&L Goodbody in Belfast, said: "While many companies are long-standing players and remain unchallenged at the top end of the rankings, it is positive to see businesses continue to rise up the ranks, year-on-year."

Moy Park president Chris Kirke said the company was honoured to once again top the list.

"It's the people in Moy Park that make the company what it is, and I am extraordinarily proud of our great team and of all our growers and partners," Mr Kirke added.

Belfast Telegraph

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