Posted on Wednesday 27 August 2014 by Ulster Business

Top 100 companies make a record 1bn profit

Ulster Business editor David Elliott, chief executive of Moy Park Janet McCollum and owner of Greer Publications James Greer

Northern Ireland’s biggest companies made a record £1bn profit over the last year, according to figures published Ulster Business.

The magazine’s annual Top 100 Companies report, now in its 26th year, provides a snapshot of the Northern Ireland economy from the latest available company accounts – most relating to the 2012/2013 financial year - filed at Companies House.

The results, produced by Dun & Bradstreet for Ulster Business, reveal that the combined profit of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies reached £1.017bn last year, a 60% jump on the previous 12 months.

Turnover - the measurement by which the companies are ranked - also rose to £21.07bn in the 2014 list from £20.48bn in 2013 – the first time the Top 100 have registered sales of more than £21bn.

At 2.9%, the collective rise in sales eased slightly from last year, when the top 100 companies delivered a 10.4% increase in turnover.

Poultry processor Moy Park topped the survey for the third year running after registering sales figures of £1.09bn, up 10% on the previous year, and profits of £24.4m. Other companies which saw turnover grow significantly include Short Brothers PLC (16.9%), Fane Valley Co-Operative Society Ltd (17.3%) and W&R Barnett Ltd (19.6%).

David Elliott, editor of Ulster Business said:

“This year’s Top 100 list shows Northern Ireland’s biggest companies have emerged from the downturn with renewed vigour. The increase in overall turnover in the last 12 months is heartening, but it’s the jump in profit which really stands out, proving the last few years of consolidation have left the Northern Ireland economy as a lean, efficient and profitable machine.”

“And if there is one common theme running through nearly all the Top 100 companies, it is export, proof that tapping into overseas markets is the key to success in today’s globalised world.”

Jonathan Cushley of Dun & Bradstreet, which carried out the survey on behalf of Ulster Business, said:

“The 2014 compilation of the Ulster Business Top 100 Companies listing continues the positive message of the past few years. Profitability of the province’s leading companies exceeded £1bn for the first time and, for the second year running, turnover passed the £20bn barrier.”

“The significant increase in profitability should provide a degree of comfort for businesses previously under severe pressure to generate returns.”

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