Business & Finance 100

Business & Finance Top 100 Companies Index 2021 – Part 1

By Business & Finance
28 February 2022

Business & Finance has released the annual Top 100 Index, recognising the leading companies operating in Ireland in 2021.

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

The full list is available to download here

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, turning over €3bn. 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. It operates across 51 locations in 9 countries across Ireland, the UK and Europe. ABP won 29 awards at the World Steak Challenge 2018, including World’s Best Fillet Steak, and repeated the win for World’s Best Fillet Steak at the World Steak Challenge 2019. They were awarded 13 gold, 14 silver and 13 bronze accolades across a number of different categories, reaffirming ABP’s position the leading beef processor in the EU. These awards are an endorsement of the unique Ultra Tender Process that the company utilises. Last year ABP Foods 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.

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. It operates 65 aircraft on over 70 destinations in the UK and Europe and 12 destinations in North America. Customers travelling to the USA via Ireland can benefit from the Customs and Border Pre-Clearance, allowing customers to save valuable time on arrival into the USA. Aer Lingus is Ireland’s only 4-Star airline, awarded by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organisation. Its mission is to be the leading value carrier operating across the North Atlantic. Its home base is Dublin Airport. Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups.


Galway MedTech firm Aerogen, is the world leader in Acute Care aerosol drug delivery, employing almost 400 people between its HQ in Ireland and Commercial and Clinical Support teams across Europe, Middle East, North America, LATAM and Asia. The company’s multi-award winning products are used in over 75 countries around the globe and to-date more than 13 million Acute Care patients from neonatal through to adult have benefitted from Aerogen’s market leading aerosol drug delivery technology.


AIB is a financial services group operating predominantly in Ireland and the United Kingdom. AIB provides a range of services to retail, business and corporate customers, with market-leading positions in key segments. The group’s chief brand is AIB in all markets. In Ireland, the group also operates the EBS challenger brand and Haven, a mortgage broker channel. With over 2.8 million customers, AIB is committed to backing sustainable communities and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.


Limerick-based AMCS was founded by CEO Jimmy Martin. AMCS is the leading supplier of integrated software and vehicle technology for the environmental resources and complex logistics industries with over 3000 customers in 23 countries worldwide. AMCS is headquartered in Limerick, with 13 offices around the world in the UK, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and the US.

An Post

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. An Post has had the third year in a row of profit and growth, making it one of the best performing postal organisations worldwide. An Post was forecast to make a loss of €150m in 2019 but is on course to make a profit of €40m.


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, striking a deal in 2018 that would see it holding a majority stake in UK motorway service area operator, Welcome Break.

Ardagh PLC

Ardagh​​ Group is a global supplier of sustainable, infinitely recyclable, metal and glass packaging for brand owners around the world. The consistent pursuit of market-leading innovation, quality and customer service, backed by investment in our people and processes, underpins everything we do. Ardagh operates 57 metal and glass production facilities in 12 countries, employing 16,000+ people with sales of approximately $7bn.

ATA Group

The Cavan-headquartered precision engineering toolmaker operates in over 70 international markets, with a network of over 1,800 distributors and has manufacturing centres in Ireland, the UK, Germany and the US. The business has been built up over 50 years, serving aerospace, automotive, oil and gas markets, shipbuilding and steel fabrication. Former Smurfit executive Peter Cosgrove led the acquisition of the company in 2008, seeing its potential for international growth. The acquisition of its strongest competitor, SGS Tool (Cleveland, Ohio), in December 2012, was followed by the 2014 acquisition of Leicestershire-based Garryson and the 2018 acquisition of cutting tools specialist Karnasch of Germany. Together these deals put the company into a world leadership position in its core tungsten carbide bur category with a scalable position in the much larger global cutting tool market. ATA employs over 300 people worldwide.


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.

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland’s purpose is to enable its customers, colleagues and communities to thrive. The Bank offers a wide range of banking and other financial services and was established by Royal Charter in 1783. In the UK, the Group has long-established partnerships with the Post Office and the AA providing consumer financial services. The Group’s international business is conducted by its Corporate Banking and Global Markets teams operating from Dublin, London, and offices in continental Europe and the United States.


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.


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.


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BWG Group is a leading Irish-based retail and wholesale business operating in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, with annual revenues of approximately €1.7 billion. BWG Foods operates the Group’s substantial retail, wholesale and wines & spirits business in Ireland. In partnership with independent retailers, BWG’s expansive retail portfolio comprises more than 1,000 SPAR, EUROSPAR, MACE, LONDIS and XL symbol stores across the Republic of Ireland, in addition to a further +300 SPAR stores through its UK based Appleby Westward business. BWG Foods Wholesale Division owns and operates 21 cash and carry locations across Ireland trading under the Value Centre, 4 Aces and Better Deal brands. It also comprises BWG Foodservice, along with Corrib Foods and Heaney Meats, which together service over 14,000 customers across the hotel, restaurant, pubs and catering sector, as well as a number of Gala stores. The Group has a separate property division, BWG Properties (Triode Newhill), which owns a portfolio of retail stores.

Bord Gáis Energy

Bord Gáis Energy is a utility that supplies gas and electricity and boiler services to customers in the Republic of Ireland. Bord Gáis Energy has been in operation in some form since 1976 and supplies over 750,000 customers with energy in Ireland. Since mid-2014 Bord Gáis Energy is also part of the global Centrica plc Group. Bord Gáis Energy has offices in Dublin and Cork as well as having boiler service technicians nationwide. Bord Gáis translates as “Gas Board”, although is now a private company limited by shares and part of Centrica Global plc which also owns British Gas. 

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.

Chanelle Pharma

Chanelle Pharma is Ireland’s largest indigenous generic pharmaceutical manufacturer of both medical and veterinary products. Serving customers in 96 countries worldwide, Chanelle Pharma is a partner of choice in the development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products to the world’s leading human generic and animal health multinationals and distributors. We are passionate about understanding and addressing the challenges facing our medical and veterinary customers and bringing them innovative and effective products and solutions.

Circle K

Circle K Ireland, part of the global fuel and convenience store brand Circle K, is the leading fuel and convenience retailer in Ireland. With over 2,400 employees, its retail network is made up of 420 service stations across the island of Ireland. Of these stations, 160 are owned by Circle K and 250 are owned by independent retail partners. With an ambition to grow our offering in Ireland, Circle K recently added 10 high street convenience and food stores in Dublin to our established and extensive forecourt network. The Circle K forecourt and convenience retail offering covers a range of products and services including Circle K’s own specialty coffee, fresh food ranges, our next generation miles and milesPLUS fuel, EV charging facilities, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) solutions for the freight and haulage sectors, largest fuel card network in Ireland and extensive carwash facilities. The company also operates a large commercial fuels business, with over 20 depots and two owned terminals across the country.


Coillte is Ireland’s semi-state forestry company which is responsible for managing over one million acres of primarily forested lands, making it the nation’s largest forester and largest provider of outdoor recreation space. It also processes forestry by-products, enables wind-energy on the estate and undertakes nature conservation projects of scale. Coillte’s vision is to deliver a sustainable future for all by delivering the multiple benefits of forestry, forests for climate, for wood, for nature and for people.


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.


Cpl is headquartered in Dublin and is a global provider of talent solutions including specialist recruitment, managed services, outsourcing and strategic talent advisory services through Cpl’s The Future of Work Institute. Cpl employs over 15,000 people who support their customers globally. They have almost 50 office locations operating in 12 countries world-wide – Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States. This international office network works with Cpl’s clients on a domestic and global markets basis to provide the most impactful talent solutions.


Daa is a global airports and travel retail business headquartered in Dublin with operations in 16 countries. Its 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. It operates Terminal 5 at KKIA Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, owns a 20% stake in Dusseldorf Airport in Germany and has travel retail stores in 12 countries. daa turnover was €935 million in 2019, driven by growing passenger numbers and increased commercial income. Group profit after tax, excluding exceptional items, was €150 million.

Dalata Hotel Group

Dalata was founded in 2007, by Pat McCann, CEO, with the acquisition of 11 leasehold hotels. The strategy was to build a strong base in Ireland, expand into the UK, and at a later stage into mainland Europe. The financial crash in 2008 changed everything. A young company like Dalata would not be expected to survive such an event. In 2009 there were 900 hotels in Ireland. By the end of that year, 300 of those hotels were insolvent. In all this chaos Dalata spotted an opportunity. As banks appointed receivers over hotels, they needed someone to manage these hotels. Dalata took on the management of 37 hotels on behalf of these banks. Virtually overnight Dalata became the largest hotel operator in Ireland. Cognizant that at some point the banks would need to sell on those hotels at well below replacement cost, the decision was made in 2013 to float the company on both London and Dublin stock exchanges, raising €520m in equity from fund managers in Ireland, the US, the UK and Europe to acquire hotels across Ireland and in the UK. Today Dalata owns 29 hotels, leases 12 hotels and have 3 management contracts with a total of 9,200 rooms. It currently has 13 Hotels in development with 3300 rooms, 10 of those Hotels are in the UK and 3 in Dublin. In the five years since listing the company’s revenue has grown over five-fold from €79m to €429m and EBITDA has grown from €6m to €135m, and it is the largest hotel company ever to exist in Ireland with the two largest hotel brands, Clayton Hotels and Maldron Hotels.

Dale Farm

Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest farmer-owned dairy processing cooperative reported a group operating profit of £12.2m (€13.75m), with the announcement of its latest financial accounts. The Group turnover is £504m to the 12 months to March 2020. Dale Farm is made up of more than 1,300 dairy farmers across the North, England and Scotland. The Group’s activities span the food chain, from providing farm inputs and services, to collecting and marketing its members’ milk supplies, manufacturing an extensive range of dairy consumer and food ingredient products, and distributing these to both the domestic and over 40 export markets world-wide.

Business & Finance Top 100 Companies Index 2021 (alphabetical):

View part one (A-D)

View part two (D-I)

View part three (I-O)

View part four (P-W)