Saturday 15 December 2018

Biggest construction firms see combined turnover jump by 'impressive' €720m


CIF director general Tom Parlon
CIF director general Tom Parlon

Fearghal O'Connor

The combined turnover of Ireland's top construction firms has increased by €720m on last year, according to a new listing.

The top 50 Irish contractors reported a combined turnover of €6.72bn over the last 12 months, according to figures compiled by Construction Magazine.

The survey found that €5.1bn of this construction activity by Irish companies took place in Ireland and that €1.62bn resulted from exported construction services.

The survey was undertaken as part of Construction Magazine's annual Top 50 CIF Contractors listing for 2018, which will be officially announced at an event in Dublin on Tuesday evening, at which this year's listing will be revealed.

The annual listing gives a snapshot of the overall growth in Irish construction, a sector that has recovered from meltdown during the recession to a point where it now delivers many large-scale projects throughout Ireland and the world.

Economic growth and a boom in major foreign direct investment projects into the country are seen as key drivers of the expansion of the sector, although, as reported in recent weeks in this newspaper, there are major concerns in the industry surrounding regional sub-contractors engaged in public sector contracts with very tight profit margins.

"This is an impressive result, even more impressive when the lack of balanced regional development and the slow rate of recovery in housing is taken into consideration," said Robbie Cousins, Construction Magazine editor. "The Top 50 listing gives a clear indication that construction is a dynamic industry sector, looking to the future with vigour and ambition to deliver complex construction programmes at home and overseas."

Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation, said that Irish main and specialist contractors "are absolutely critical to the Irish economy's competitiveness".

"Without the success of Irish construction, we would not have had the ability to attract tech- savvy and forward-thinking multinationals like LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Eli Lilly to name but a few, and this is now recognised by the IDA and the wider government apparatus."

Parlon said that the sector had "emerged from the depths of the recession leaner, more modern, sustainable, adaptable and resilient" but that "there are significant improvements that still need to be made in order to preserve and support our sector's recovery into the future".

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