Irish exporters report €140bn in turnover ahead of Brexit
Agriculture and food dominate Ireland's native export sector, new research has shown.
According to the Irish Exporters Association's (IEA's) 'Top 150 Born in Ireland' report, leading companies in that sector generated around €140bn in turnover last year.
The Investec-backed study lists Ireland's largest indigenous companies by sales with building materials group CRH topping the list. Collectively the entire list reported €139.5bn in sales with businesses in the construction and engineering sector amounting to the second-largest proportion of contributors.
Investec head of treasury Aisling Dodgson said the success of indigenous firms can sometimes be overlooked in what is becoming a more globalised market.
"The analysis demonstrates the true scale of Irish businesses which we classify as 'Born in Ireland' - companies with their origin in the country which either have grown on the back of serving the domestic market, through exports or by growing their business serving markets beyond our shores," she said.
Vision-net compiled the data for the new research and only included companies that have filed accounts in 2014 or later.
Charities, inversion deals and dissolved companies were all excluded from the report.
The report shows the size of Irish exporters and their importance to the economy, which is set to grow at a slower rate as a result of Britain's decision to leave the European Union. However, despite the looming exit of Ireland's most important export destination, Investec head of macro-financial research Philip O'Sullivan said Brexit must be put into perspective.
"It is worth noting that five-sixths of Irish exports now go to markets other than the country's next door neighbour.
"Notwithstanding this moderation, and barring any more statistical anomalies, the Irish economy is still likely to turn in some of the strongest growth in the European Union in both this year and the next," he said.
Ireland's heavy hitters are right near the top of the list with utilities firm DCC coming in at second with a turnover of €14.48bn.
Swiss-Irish food firm Aryzta comes in at tenth with sales of just under €3.3bn.
Outside of DCC, Topaz, Tullow Oil, Eirgrid, and Maxol all make up the top five Irish utilities companies. Nearly 90 of the companies on the list are in Dublin with Cork coming in second place.
A total of 25 businesses from Munster were listed, bringing the region's haul up to €15bn, €3bn more than that of Leinster's when Dublin is excluded.
Eleven firms from Munster made the list with Ulster counties contributing six entries.
Dublin's turnover dwarfed all of the other regions, bringing in €106.8bn in revenue, more than seven times the intake of Munster. IEA chief executive Simon McKeever said the export sector remains key to the recovery.
"Ireland is now looking at the very real possibility of the UK leaving the EU by 2019 and this move will affect indigenous Irish exporters more than most given the close bi-lateral trade agreement that exists between us."
The IEA chief highlighted the importance of nailing down a trade deal with the UK after it executes Article 50.