Business & Finance 100

Part 1 of the inaugural Business & Finance 100 released

By Business & Finance
06 December 2018

Business & Finance release the ‘100 Most Outstanding Irish Companies of 2018’ an index of Ireland’s best performing, most innovative, and fastest-growing companies which will be celebrated as part of the 2018 Business & Finance Awards.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

3D4 Medical


3D4Medical was founded in 2009 and produces 3D medical technology applications and platforms. Its software is used daily in universities and clinical organisations around the world.

AB Packaging


The paper bag and flexible packaging producer founded by CEO Dermot Brady 30 years ago makes paper shopping bags and tissue for commercial retailers such as Primark, T.J. Maxx, Nike, Vodafone, and Tommy Hilfiger. When Primark, one of the Blessington-based Group’s largest customers, entered into the US market it was imperative to follow and AB opened its first US plant in Newark in 2016, joining existing strategically-located bases in the UK and Spain.

ABP Food Group


Founded in 1954, the award-winning beef processing group operates with a network of over 35,000 farmers, and contributes an estimated €1.3bn each year into the rural economies in which it operates. The core business – ABP Beef – is supported by its renewable, pet food and protein divisions, which combine to ensure the value of by-products is maximised and the environmental impact is minimised. ABP won 29 awards at the World Steak Challenge 2018, including World’s Best Fillet Steak, and this year announced a ground-breaking deal with Chinese online retailer one of the largest B2C online retailers in China by transaction volume and revenue, with 301.8 million active users recorded in the first quarter of 2018.



International engineering company Actavo has 6,000 employees in 100 locations worldwide, with their latest move into the Caribbean, laying fibre for Digicel, bringing the company closer to the US. Actavo USA has since worked with 6 million homes and businesses with over 60,000 miles of fibre optic cable installed coast to coast.

Adapt Pharma


A relatively new company which made a huge impact in a short space of time, Adapt Pharma is the latest venture of Waterford-born Seamus Mulligan, a man with a Midas touch when it comes to pharma. The unique nasal spray dispensing system for overdose revival drug Naloxone has huge lifesaving potential as an opioid crisis sweeps across the United States, leading Emergent to buy out the founders of the five-year-old company in a $635m deal this year.

Aer Lingus


Ireland’s flagship airline, privatised between 2006 and 2015, and now wholly owned by IAG, is set for a new era as they announced a rebranding in autumn 2018, along with the expansion and upgrading of their long haul flights, continuing to focus on Ireland to North America routes. Speaking at APEX EXPO 2018 in Boston, Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said the changes “will reflect the airline’s modern outlook and ambition to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic”.



Galway medtech firm Aerogen, which provides acute care aerosol drug delivery devices, has about 30 people working permanently overseas, in addition to its Irish workforce, with employees in Britain, Germany, France, China and US. The company’s devices are used in 75 countries, with 80 per cent of hospitals in Ireland and 60 per cent of the top 100 hospitals in the US using their products.

Agnew Group NI


The Agnew Group is a motor vehicle retailer group in Northern Ireland,and one of the UK’s top 25 franchised dealers. Established in 1931 the business operates 17 dealerships around the Belfast and Portadown areas, representing ten manufacturer brands and two used car operations  – Agnew AutoStore and Agnew Autoexchange. In addition the business operates Agnew Corporate and Agnew Repair Centre.

In January 2012 the Agnew Group became part of the Sytner Group of companies, the UK’s second largest motor retailer who are owned by the Penske Corporation, USA.


IT Services

Limerick-based AMCS was founded by CEO Jimmy Martin. AMCS is the leading supplier of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and material resources industries. AMCS is headquartered in Ireland with offices in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Pennsylvania in the US.

An Post

Business Services

An Post is a major commercial organization providing a wide range of services encompassing postal, communication, retail and financial areas. It is one of Ireland’s largest companies directly employing over 10,000 people through its national network of retail, processing and delivery points.



Petrogas Group US INC T/A Applegreen is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Applegreen plc, a publicly quoted company listed on the Irish and UK stock markets, also operating four sites in the US. The fuel and forecourt retailer is focused on continual expansion of activity in its three main markets – Ireland, the UK and the US, this year striking a deal that would see it holding a majority stake in UK motorway service area operator, Welcome Break.

Ardagh Glass


Ardagh is a global leader in glass and metal packaging, with a global staff of over 23,500 in 22 countries. Founded in 1932 as the Irish Glass Bottle Company in Dublin, the company expanded through a series of acquisitions after Paul Coulson, the current Chairman and CEO, acquired an initial stake in the company in 1998.

ATA Group


The Cavan-based precision engineering toolmaker operates in 60 markets, with a network of over 1,400 distributors and manufacturing centres in Ireland, the UK and the US. The business has been built up over 50 years, serving aerospace, automotive, oil and gas markets, shipbuilding and metal fabrication. Former Smurfit executive Peter Cosgrove led an acquisition of the company in 2008, seeing its potential for growth. The acquisition of its biggest competitor SGS Tool (Cleveland, Ohio) in December 2012 put the company into a world leadership position and it now employs over 200 people worldwide.



Aurivo is the largest multipurpose co-operative in the West of Ireland, with business in consumer foods, dairy ingredients, retail stores, animal feeds and livestock marts. The co-operative has over 10,000 members and 700 employees.



With Ireland the global leader in aviation leasing, Avolon is one of the most important pieces of the jigsaw—it was the largest funded startup in the world, raising $750 million in equity, and is currently the third largest lessor in the world with the youngest fleet. The year 2018 saw the completion and opening of Avolon’s new global HQ at One Ballsbridge, Dublin, complementing its offices in the US, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.



A global leader in animal health, Bimeda has established markets in more than 70 countries worldwide and has R&D, manufacturing and distribution capabilities across Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Bimeda employs almost 800 employees worldwide with US headquarters are based in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. The Bimeda US product portfolio focuses on five key categories: ecto- and endo-parasiticides, water soluble antimicrobial, injectables and nutritional products.

Bord Na Mona


One of Ireland’s traditional companies, Bord na Móna is undergoing a transition from energy peat harvesting into new businesses by 2030, using green sustainable energy sources such as wind, biomass and solar power.. The move will provide new biodiverse bog habitats across its 125,000 acres of bogland, that can also support new eco-tourism and community amenity resources.



BoyleSports is the second largest bookmaker in Ireland, 231 retail branches throughout the country. Founded in 1989 by John Boyle, it is headquartered in Dundalk, County Louth.



The leading retail and wholesale distribution group, including Spar, Mace and Londis brands, was formed from the amalgamation of four independent wholesale companies in the 1970s. A 2002 management buyout from Pernod Ricard was led by CEO Leo Crawford, supported by London-based VC firm Electra Partners. In 2006, Triod Investments Ltd – controlled by Crawford, John Clohisey and John O’Donnell – completed the purchase.They now operate the foods Division in Ireland, incorporating REtail, Wholeseale and Wines & Spirits, BWG Property and Appleby Westward which operates the regional distribution centre for Spar in the UK.

Cairn Homes


Cairn Homes, founded executives directors Michael Stanley and Alan McIntosh, raised more than €440 million in June 2015 when it became the first Irish homebuilder to list on the stock market in almost two decades. The company raised a further €176.5 million in 2016, after acquiring Project Clear – a portfolio of development assets – from Ulster Bank.

Capital Flow


Established in 2016, Capitalflow is Ireland’s fastest-growing SME lender. The Capitalflow team of decision-makers has grown from 3 people to 70 over the last two years, with ambitious plans for further growth. Capitalflow have advanced over €200 million to 1300 custom­ers to date. With two offices in Dublin, the team has recently opened office in Cork, with plans to open regional hubs in Galway and Limerick. The sales teams operate nationwide, across a suite of products – equipment leasing, HP, refinancing, property finance (term & bridging loans, pension mortgages), invoice discounting, and asset based lending.



Headquartered in Dublin, CarTrawler’s international offices are located in London, Boston, Helsinki, Melbourne and Tokyo. CarTrawler is the world’s leading B2B travel technology platform, connecting travel businesses with transport solutions.

C&C Group


Best known internationally for its Magners cider brand (Bulmers in Ireland) C&C Group has production facilities in Ireland, the UK and the US. It grew out of a Belfast chemist business, Cantrell & Dyas, which manufactured mineral waters, ginger ale, lemonade and soda water in the 1850s. Merging with the soft drinks business of Henry Cochrane, Cantrelll and Cochrane gave their names to today’s C&C Group.



Coillte owns and manages 7% of Ireland’s land and comprises three businesses  – Forestry, Land Solutions and Medite/Smartply. Coillte began developing the forestry side of the business in 1989 when it left the company left the Civil Service and became a commercial semi-State. Coillte contributes €4.2 billion to the economy and supports 12,000 jobs.



Forklift manufacturer and material handler solutions provider Combilift announced 200 new jobs in 2018, at its new €50 million global headquarters in Monaghan. Combilift currently employs 550 people in manufacturing its forklifts and material handling products. Established in 1998, Combilift currently exports 98% of its products to 85 countries through its international dealer network of 250.



Ireland’s premier media company maintains some of the largest independent radio networks in Ireland, Bulgaria and the UK with 21 radio stations in three countries. In February of 2014, eight regional UK radio stations joined the Communicorp stable. Communicorp UK is the newest and fourth largest radio group in the United Kingdom. In July 2016 they inked an innovative deal with Adforce to deliver ads to digital audio platforms. Adrian Serle is the Group CEO and Director as of 2017.

Coolmore Stud


John Magnier in conjunction with his late father-in-law, horse trainer Vincent O’Brien, and Robert Sangster took over the 350-acre existing farm in 1975. With a current roster of 29 stallions, the Tipperary stud farm is generally acknowledged to be the world’s biggest, and best, thoroughbred racehorse breeding operation.


Business Services

Cpl is a global Irish company founded by Anne Heraty, CEO; it is a recognised leader in temporary and permanent recruitment and has a US office in Boston, Massachusetts. In the US, Cpl caters to Irish corporates based in the US and local US companies. Cpl work closely with US companies setting up European operations and actively support the IDA in their marketing activities. Stephen Mullin, Group Sales Director, in the contact for Cpl’s US activities and works with US and Irish companies across their global network of 41 offices in 11 countries.



Formed through a merger in 1970 of two leading Irish public companies, Cement Limited (established in 1936) and Roadstone, Limited (1949), CRH is one of the world’s leading building products and materials companies and Ireland’s largest company. Oldcastle, its North American arm is the largest building materials company in North America with more than 1,700 operations in 50 US states and 6 Canadian provinces.



DAA’s principal activities include the operation and management of Dublin and Cork airports, global airport retailing with our subsidiary ARI, and international aviation consultancy with DAA International. The company is State-owned and headquartered at Dublin Airport. Group turnover in 2017 was €855 million.

2018 Business & Finance 100:

View part two (D-G)

View part three (H-P)

View part four (P-Z)


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