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.
The full list is included in the latest issue of the Business & Finance Quarterly Review Q4.
Dairygold supplies premium cheeses and dairy nutritionals made from milk whey and casein (including infant formulae and protein powders) to the global marketplace. It came from the merger in 1990 of Ballyclough (1908) and Mitchelstown (1919) dairy co-operatives, after which the new entity established a strategic plan to develop opportunities abroad, and taking quality-assured, natural raw materials and adding value at every point in the production chain.
Founded in 2007 by Pat McCann, Dalata is Irelands largest hotel operator. Specialising in core asset management through owned, leased and managed hotels. With a current portfolio of 39 hotels (owned, leased and managed), Dalata operates the Maldron Hotel brand and Clayton Hotel brand throughout Ireland and the UK, as well as managing a portfolio of Partner Hotels.
Dawn Farm Foods
Established in 1985, Dawn Farms is a family-owned company and the largest dedicated supplier of cooked meat ingredients and fermented and dried sausage products outside of the US. The company currently supplies world-leading food brands across more than 44 markets, including the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Dawn Farms offers a full-service solution to B2B customers in the pizza, sandwich, snack and prepared meal sectors. All products are produced in state-of-the-art facilities, with two production sites in Ireland, and a facility in Northampton which is the largest cooked bacon facility in the U.K.
International sales, marketing and support services group DCC operates through four divisions: LPG, Retail & Oil, Healthcare and Technology. Headquartered in Dublin, it operates in 17 countries, employing approximately 11,500 people. DCC plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100. In its financial year ended 31 March 2018, DCC generated revenue of £14.3 billion and operating profit of £383.4 million.
Co Louth-based medtech firm Diaceutics is aiming to hit revenues of $40 million by 2020 and recently raised €4.3 million through a mix of debt and equity financing to fund its expansion. The company works with 31 out of the top 35 pharmaceutical companies to integrate diagnostic testing into their treatment pathways. Based in the Regional Development Centre on the campus of the Institute of Technology in Dundalk, Co Louth, it has offices in 17 jurisdictions.
Founded by Chairman Mark Roden in 2006, Ding enables expats to send mobile phone credit top-ups to friends and family back home. The Dublin-based firm has 200 employees worldwide, with offices in New Jersey and Miami in the US, as well as Dubai, Dhaka, Paris and Bucharest. They work with over 400 mobile phone operators in over 130 countries and made revenues of over $500 million last year.
DPS Group is a global consulting, engineering and construction management company, serving high-tech industries around the world. DPS employs industry experts in key locations in Europe, the U.S., Asia and the Middle East, bringing world-class resources and the latest innovative technologies to every project. Offering specialised architectural, engineering and construction services to the advanced technology, process chemical, industrial and life sciences sectors, they work with semiconductor, solar, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and process industry clients.
East Coast Bakehouse
East Coast Bakehouse was established by Michael Carey and Alison Cowzer, the former management team of the Jacob Fruitfield Group, in 2015. The company invested close to €20 million to set up a factory to produce high-end biscuits in Drogheda, Co Louth. They export into the UK, the US, a number of European markets, the Middle East and Africa.
Ireland’s largest principal provider of fixed and mobile communication services, Eir Group plc is one of Ireland’s biggest corporates. Formerly a state-owned monopoly, Eir has retained a commanding market share of the voice line and fixed broadband since the switch to competition, while holding interests in television and reaching upwards of 2 million customers. The group recently announced a €150 million mobile network upgrade targeted at boosting mobile broadband coverage for customers in rural areas. Its fibre network, part of an ambitious €2.5 billion strategic investment programme in 2013, now serves more than 1.2 million homes and customers, with 600,000 about to be connected.
Founded in 2011, ElectroRoute is a homegrown Irish energy supplier aiming to liberalise markets through analysis and new practices in electricity & gas trading. The company also offer client services for renewable energy firms, and has begun to open offices overseas: a UK office was established in 2017, and ElectroRoute now plans to enter the Japanese power market where its principle owner, Mitsubishi Corporation, is based. Registered in Donegal, the company is headquartered in Dublin with a team of over 60 energy professionals.
With a commitment to renewable energy, Energia’s wind division now provides 25% of Ireland’s wind power. The company is a leading supplier of electricity for Irish businesses – its business customer base now exceeds 60,000. Energia forms part of Viridian Group which provides energy services both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The firm has previously made large investments into conventional electricity generation: its Huntstown Power Station can generate up to 20% of the island’s electricity needs. The group now also operate a large number of wind farms concentrated in the north and south of the country.
Ergo has been one of Ireland’s most consistent IT Services companies since the company was founded in 1993. Originally seeded with a team of just two people supplying printer parts, the company now serves the IT needs of some of Ireland’s largest companies, employing over 400 people and expanding the scope of services it provides as IT supply chains have evolved. In 2017 it saw turnover rise 42% to hit over €34m, with revenue forecasted to more than double in 2018.
The company formerly known as Bord Gáis Éireann, Ervia form the background of Ireland’s gas-supply network. A commercial semi-state, Ervia is a key supplier of both services and infrastructure for gas and water in Ireland through its subsidiaries Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water. In addition, the group’s Aurora Telecom business supplies dark fibre broadband using newly-developed fibre optic technology. Headed up by Group CEO Mike Quinn, the group has recently been suggested as a potential new operator for the National Broadband Plan by Fianna Fáil.
The original: the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is Ireland’s oldest state-owned electricity company. Historically operated as a monopoly, the group has liberalised in recent years to become a commercial semi-state body operating in competition with other energy suppliers. One of Ireland’s largest companies, the group employs in excess of 7,000 people, and it provides electricity to over 1.4 million customers. The company ESB currently generates 43% of the island’s electricity capacity and holds a regulated asset base of €9 billion.
Northern Ireland-based Fane Valley Co-operative was formed over 115 years ago, and is now recognised as one of Ireland’s most progressive agri-food concerns. The group hold a range of interests across the sector, including red meats, breakfast cereals, animal feed, and livestock services. 100%-owned by its 1250 shareholders, the Co-operative has annual sales which top £525 million which flow from its locations across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, and England.
Increasingly recognised as the industry standard for Client Lifecycle Management solutions, Fenergo is a growing heavyweight in software for client on-boarding. The company was launched in Dublin in 2009 by Marc Murphy and now has offices which span North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In 2015, Fenergo received an injection of $85m from Insight Venture Partners and Aquiline Capital Partners aimed at accelerating its growth and reach to meet regulatory and on-boarding challenges in new markets and financial institutions.
Founded in 1981 by Brian McCarthy, the international payments and FX company headquartered in Killorglin, Co Kerry, has over 2,800 employees worldwide, across 30 markets in Europe, the Middle East, North America, Latin America and Australasia. Its profit before tax jumped 80% to €19.3m in 2017. Although online and digital foreign exchange transactions remain the bigger part of Fexco’s overall operations, the Killorglin-headquartered company operates more than 100 high street foreign exchange shops in the UK and Ireland and a further 950 through the franchise model. It made two UK acquisitions during 2018 in the form of Change-Link and the Thomas Exchange Group.
The Newry-based firm now has operational bases in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia to service its global client base. It is recognised as one of the fastest growing capital markets service providers in the world and now employs over 2,400 employees worldwide. The year 2018 saw it reach a billion pound valuation and FD reported a 23 per cent rise in revenues to £186 million (€212 million) in the 12 months to end-February 2018. FD has announced it expects to create a further 1,000 jobs over the next three years. This employee expansion builds on sustained growth at FD, with annual growth averaging 31% over the past three years.
Foyle Food Group
Foyle Food Group is a family-run chain of agriculture companies which specialise in the supply of beef. The group employ over 1,000 people, operating 9 facilities in the UK and Ireland which process cattle and supply beef to retailers and providers across the world. In September 2018, the firm announced a 15% increase in turnover and £24.5m in profits as the group continues to push into China.
A Cork-based healthcare software firm, Genesis Automation is a specialised traceability and analytics platform which helps hospitals to manage supplies and enhance patient safety. The company has a close relationship with the UK’s National Health Service, partnering with a number of NHS trusts and helping to grow its client base to a total of 27 hospitals. In May 2018, Genesis secured a Texas hospital contract following a €21m raise to grow its operations in the US market.
One of the world’s top nutrition companies, Glanbia was formed out of the 1997 merger of the Republic’s two largest dairy co-operatives, Avonmore Foods and Waterford Foods. It concentrates on its higher-margin nutrition business, which makes and sells protein shakes and bars, and its Glanbia Nutritionals US cheddar cheese and value-added protein ingredients division. Today Glanbia employs over 6,600 people across 32 countries, including 12 manufacturing operations in the US.
The Glen Dimplex Group, founder by Martin Naughton in 1973 remains privately held, with manufacturing and development centres for its electrical goods in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, China and many other locations around the world. Glen Dimplex North America has grown substantially, and dominates in the electric heating, stoves, fireplace and industrial cooling markets across the continent, offering a range of highly innovative products and solutions. Dimplex Thermal Solutions is a US manufacturer of industrial and medical process chillers.
Based in Ireland and the UK, Grafton Group is a building materials supply company which supplies construction material to customers in Ireland, the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Grafton owns the Woodies DIY chain, and its wider merchanting segment operates in 603 branches under a variety of brand names. The group saw revenue of €2.5 billion in the ten months to October, with its 2018 operating profit forecasted by Davy Stockbrokers to reach €214m.
Recently acquired by Staffline Group, Grafton Recruitment has grown to become one of Ireland’s most well-known recruitment agencies. Founded in 1983, the group has expanded steadily since that time, increasing its locations to nine and now employing more than 100 staff. In 2017, the group supplied 900 permanent employees and provided 5,000 temporary workers to businesses across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Greencore Group plc is a leading international convenience food company. It was established by the Irish government in 1991 when they privatised Irish Sugar, and has up to now been the world’s largest sandwich manufacturer. Headed up by Pagltrick Coveney and listed on the London Stock Exchange, it is part of the FTSE 250 Index. This year shareholders approved the sale of its US operations, which will see Patrick Coveneny stay on as CEO of a more focused business, after he had split his time to oversee the restructuring of the US side.
2018 Business & Finance 100:
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