Almost none of the country's big native companies are from the west of Ireland

The study from Investec showed that the vast majority of large indigenous firms are based in the capital.

By Paul O'Donoghue

LESS THAN A tenth of the country’s biggest indigenous companies are from the west of Ireland, a new study has found.

A report carried out by the Irish Exporters Association and sponsored by Investec found that building materials group CRH is the largest indigenous Irish company by turnover.

The research, an evolution of the top 250 Irish Exporters Report published for the last six years, looked at the 150 largest Irish companies by revenue that were ‘born in Ireland’.

The data, compiled from the company’s most recent accounts by business database Vision-Net, found that the 150 largest firms had a combined turnover of almost €140 billion.

Dublin-based conglomerate DCC, which is involved in a range of industries including healthcare and technology, was the second largest firm with a turnover of €14.5 billion, compared to CRH’s €23.6 billion.

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard ranked third with a turnover of €8.5 billion, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa and low-cost airline Ryanair rounded out the top five with sales of €8.1 billion and €6.5 billion respectively.

Dublin dominance

The vast majority of the companies were found to be based in Dublin. About three-fifths of the companies (87) were from the capital.

Proportionally, these businesses also took in more cash. Dublin firms were found to account for slightly over three-quarters of the turnover among the top-150 companies.

Source: Top 150 Born in Ireland report

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When Dublin was removed from the figures, however, Munster actually performed better than Leinster, mainly due to the strong performance of businesses based in Cork.

A total of 25 companies featured in Munster, with combined turnover topping €15 billion. That compared with Leinster’s 21 firms, which had a total turnover of €12 billion.

Outside of Dublin, Cork was the second most prominent county in the table both in the number of entries and the accumulated turnover, with 15 companies featured with a combined turnover of €7.5 billion.

Ulster lagged behind the other two provinces, while Connaught was further back still in terms of combined turnover.

Some six Ulster companies made the list compared to 11 from Connaught, however these firms had combined revenue of €3.9 billion compared to turnover of about €1.5 billion from the western businesses.


Food and drink

On a sector-by-sector basis ‘consumer goods, food & beverage and agri’ was the most dominant, with a combined turnover of €40 billion in the top 150 indigenous companies.

This was which followed by the ‘construction and engineering’ sector at €31.5 billion, with ‘utilities’ the third ranked sector showing an aggregated turnover of €23.5 billion.

Head of treasury at Investec Aisling Dodgson said that the research “demonstrates the true scale of Irish businesses”.

Irish Exporters Association chief executive Simon McKeever said that the study also showed the “scale, diversity and global reach of our indigenous companies”.