With the increasing influx of global companies to Ireland (think Facebook, Google, et al) it's time to shed a spotlight on the homegrown institutions that generate billions of euros every year.
Many of these global players started out as simple dairy plants, airline shuttles, or mom and pop businesses and have grown to be world leaders in their respective industries.
Here is the Irish cream of the crop:
Turnover: €27.6 billion
Globally renowned CRH is a building materials company founded in 1970. Over 85,000 people are employed across Europe, America, and Asia by this FTSE 100/Fortune 500 company.
The company's 2017 results have been released on their website and can be viewed here.
Turnover: €14.8 billion
Founded in 1976, Development Capital Corporation provides products, sales, marketing, and logistical and distribution services to an international audience. While Jim Flavin founded the company to provide venture capital to startups, DCC now focuses on the Energy, Technology, Healthcare, and Environmental divisions and operates as Europe's biggest distributor of gas and oil. Over 9,000 people are currently employed across 13 countries.
The company's 2017 report can be accessed here.
3. Smurfit Kappa
Turnover: €8.1 billion
In 1934, Smurfit was a business who made simple boxes and packaging. The company merged with Kappa Packaging in 2005, thus allowing them to become a global leader in the packaging industry. The company employs a massive 43,000 people across 350 production sites. Impressively, their offerings are renewable, no doubt helping they retain the market position they hold today.
The company's 2017 report can be viewed here.
4. Paddy Power
Turnover: €7 billion
This Irish bookmaker likely needs no introduction. Paddy Power was founded by three bookies expanded their existing offerings in 1988. Now the company has claimed a self-titled position as an industry Chief Mischief Maker thanks to regular high profile stunts and tongue-in-cheek social media accounts. Paddy Power employs over 5,000 people and has expanded into Australia, France, the UK, and Canada.
Another shite 45 mins for Arsenal. See how long Arsene Wenger has got left on his contract with our handy timer: https://t.co/BVECvASnte— Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 4, 2018
The company's 2017 report is available online here.
5. Kerry Group
Turnover: €5.8 billion
There's more to the Kerry Group than just butter. While the company started out with a small dairy plant in Listowel in 1972, it is now an internationally known leader in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors. Kerry Group owns the Dairygold, Low Low, Cheesestrings, Denny, and Charleville brand among others, and employs almost 25,000 people across the globe. The group also recently opened a €100m technology and innovations centre in Naas, Co Meath.
The group's preliminary statement of results for 2017 can be accessed here.
Turnover: €5 billion
Michael O'Leary's low-cost airline is infamous all over the world. Ryanair started in 1985 as a Waterford to Gatwick operation, flying some 5,000 people between the destinations in its first year. O'Leary is responsible for Ryanair as we know know it, having taken heed from US-based budget airline SouthWest Airlines. O'Leary adopted cheaper fares, expanded routes, and took whatever measures he could to keep prices down. Ryanair now employs over 9,500 people, operates to 185 destinations, and may even one day offer a transatlantic route.
The company's 2017 report is available here.
Turnover: €4.6 billion
Musgraves, founded in 1876, is Ireland's most prominent grocery distributor. The company employs almost 8,000 people and operates the SuperValu, Centra, and Mace deli/supermarket brands.
Turnover: €3.8 billion
For half a century, Primark (operating in Ireland as Penneys) has been a market leader in the fast fashion category. The retail giant now operates in nine countries in Europe, and has recently expanded into the US with flagship offerings in Boston, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York. Over 4,000 people are employed across the world by this homegrown institution.
Turnover: €3.5 billion
Another food company for the list. Glanbia is the result of a 1997 merger of Avonmore and Waterford Foods; its anglicized meaning is "pure food". Employing over 5,000 people, Glanbia is the fourth biggest cheese producer in the entire world! Aside from dairy brands like Avonmore, the company's portfolio also includes sports nutrition and vitamin brands. Glanbia also runs a highly sought after graduate program.
The company's most recent reports can be found here.