Belfast Telegraph

Time to focus on reshaping economy

By Kevin Kingston, General Manager Corporate and Markets, Northern Bank

Northern Bank is delighted to support the Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies, the definitive guide to Northern Ireland’s biggest and most successful companies.

There is no doubt that 2009 was an unprecedented year for businesses in every sector in Northern Ireland. Whilst many companies faced very challenging economic and financial conditions, it is now time to look beyond the recession, to re-shape our economy by focusing on growing – and learning from – Northern Ireland’s private sector.

Many of the companies listed in this publication set a benchmark for what can be achieved and also for navigating a way through the recovery period.

Indeed, we’re proud to see many of our own customers included in the listing, especially those local entrepreneurs who have overcome the challenges and have come out fighting. This publication provides a good opportunity to celebrate the successes of those companies and to look at what we can be learned from them, with the help of some expert analysis.

So what makes a Top 100 company? Many would say it’s purely numbers and while it’s true that the financial success of any business is vital, you’ll also read about how resilience, calculated risk taking and leadership have shaped the success of many.

Changes to this year’s list reflect business conditions locally as well as Northern Bank’s own research, which indicates that challenges remain for some sectors, including the construction and financial services sectors.

The banking sector is not immune from its own challenges.

Indeed the banking industry has come under tighter capital and liquidity requirements and all banks have been focusing on strengthening their balance sheets.

However, Northern Bank remains well positioned and undoubtedly one of the strongest local banks to emerge from the recession.

Northern Ireland remains a competitive place to do business and at Northern Bank we are optimistic that the outlook for businesses is brighter in the year ahead.

Belfast Telegraph

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