The Republic of Ireland showed the highest economic growth in Europe in 2018, according to the European Commission. Ireland is a highly open economy, and this tactic is bearing fruit. The country is on the 6th place of 175 in the ranking of the World Bank by GDP per capita. Meanwhile, the eurozone’s GDP couldn’t boast of such success.
The economic growth Ireland is experiencing lately could be caused by the mass US multinational companies legal domicile relocation to this country - the so-called tax inversion. These companies make up the majority of the TOP Irish enterprises below. They are paying over 80% business taxes in the country and employing 25% of the labour force from the private sector. Thanks to the companies, attracted by the local loyal tax policy, Ireland overcame the financial recession on 2007-2010 and is now flourishing from the business point of view.
We created a rating of the largest companies in Ireland by sales in 2018 for you to be aware of the real local market state. It is based on the company data from the Global Database business intelligence platform, which is always updated and relevant. You can use this TOP 25 Irish companies to find the best business partners or choose the industry to invest in with minimal risk.
Local and multinational companies of different provenience peacefully coexist on the Irish market and move its economy forward. This proves its tax policy is really attractive for new businesses and makes this country worth investing. Why don’t you be that investor?
*All figures are in USD. M: Millions of USD, B: Billions of USD
*EUR was converted to USD using an average currency rate of 0.89 EUR to 1 USD
1. Accenture ($39.1B)
Accenture, the biggest Irish company by sales in 2018, is one of the companies representing the management consulting and professional services domains. It serves the world’s most prominent businesses, over 75% of which are listed in Fortune Global 500. Accenture operates in 120 countries with more than 459,000 workers participating in consulting, operations, strategy and other services provision. The company works in five main directions that generated $39.1B in sales in 2018.
2. Google Ireland ($36.2B)
Google Ireland is the headquarters of the internet giant, operating in Ireland for already 15 years, and serving clients in 50+ countries. The local subsidiary of Google employs around 8,000 professionals who work in technical, sales and operations support. Google Ireland is the second largest Irish company by turnover ($36.4B in 2017) and by sales ($36.2B in 2018). Advertising revenue, based on paid clicks, made over 22% of the company’s turnover in 2018.
3. Johnson Controls International ($30.7B)
Johnson Controls International plc (further Johnson Controls) is an international manufacturer of automotive parts and heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment for buildings. Initially a US company, Johnson Controls performed a tax inversion to Ireland after a merger with Tyco International in 2017. Now it’s headquartered in Corc. Around 121,000 employees from the six continents are serving customers over the world. Together they earned $30.7B in sales in 2018.
4. Medtronic ($29.7B)
Medtronic plc (further Medtronic), the biggest medical device company in the world originated in the US, is headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes, just like Johnson Controls International. The company is working in four main healthcare segments and serving clients in 140 countries. Almost 103,000 employees of the company made their best to achieve $29.7B in sales in 2018. The profits grew by 13.7% in comparison with 2017 and reached $4B.
5. CRH ($28.5B)
CRH plc (further CRH) is the largest building materials company in Ireland. Unlike the previous companies, this Irish market leader is established, located and has grown in the country, unrelated to tax inversion. CHR owns production plants in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Together they generated $28.5B in sales and $2.1B in profits in 2018. Almost 90,000 employees of CHR are contributing to the production of heavyside materials, lightside products as well as their distribution across the world.
6. Eaton ($20.8B)
Eaton Corporation plc (further Eaton) is yet another US industrial giant, that moved its headquarters to Ireland due to the local tax policy. The operational headquarters, however, remained in the USA. They provide energy-efficient solutions for electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power to clients in 175+ countries. Its 99,000 employees achieved $20.8B in sales in 2018. Eaton operates 66 brands, some of them being 75 years old.
7. Adient ($16.8B)
Adient plc (further Adient) is an automotive seating manufacturer from Michigan, US, spinned-off from Johnson Controls and inaugurated its headquarters in Ireland. 85,000 employees of the company are working across the 250 production and assembly plants in over 30 countries. They generated annual sales of $16.8B in 2018. One of the Adient’s major partners is Boeing. Their joint venture on aircraft seat manufacturing is planned to reach a $6B market by 2022.
8. DCC ($16.6B)
DCC plc (further DCC) is a gas and oil sales, marketing and support services international company from Ireland. It is included in the FTSE 100 Index of companies with the highest market capitalisation ($8.8B as of 2018), listed on the London Stock Exchange. Covering multiple fields, from oil and LPG to healthcare, the four DCC divisions, managed to generate sales of $16.6B in 2018. Another output of the 10,430 company employees, working hard in 13 countries, was the annual revenue of $18.3B in the same year.
9. Allergan ($16B)
Allergan plc (further Allergan) is a result of a merger of Allergan from the US and Actavis from Ireland for tax inversion purposes. The Actavis headquarters were moved from the US in 2013 for the same reason. 80% of Allergan’s net sales in 2017 were generated from the US healthcare market. In 2018 the company made $16B in sales and reached the market cap of $52.1B. 17,800 employees serving clients in over 100 countries have contributed to this result.
10. Ingersoll-Rand ($14.6B)
Ingersoll-Rand plc (further Ingersoll-Rand) moved its legal domicile to Dublin, just like the majority of the companies in this list. The employees of this huge industrial manufacturing company made sales for $14.6B in 2018 and reached a market cap of $22B. Ingersoll-Rand has 12 brands and subsidiaries at over 99 manufacturing facilities all over the world, ran by around 46,000 employees.
11. Seagate Technology ($10.8B)
Seagate Technology plc (further Seagate) is a company from the US headquartered in Ireland. It is operating in the data-storage field and is known for its hard-disk drives. One of its largest HDD assembly plants is located in China. Over 41,000 professionals Seagate employs serve clients all over the world, and their work is resulting in good financial indicators. For example, in 2018 the company made $10.8B in sales, reached $16.3B market cap and accumulated $9.6B of total assets.
12. Smurfit Kappa Group ($9.7B)
Smurfit Kappa Group plc (later Smurfit Kappa) is one of the world’s biggest paper-based packaging companies with $10B market cap. It is also the biggest corrugated packaging company in Europe. Its 45,000 employees working over the large forestry operations, paper and recycling network in 35 countries made sales for $9.7B in 2018. Besides the main headquarters in Ireland, Smurfit Kappa has regional ones in the US and Netherlands.
13. Primark ($9.2B)
Primark is a fast fashion retailer from Ireland, expanded to the UK, Philippines, the US and EU countries. It’s called Penney’s in its home country. Its 70,000 employees earned $9.2B in sales for the company in 2018. Working across more than 360 Primark’s stores in 11 countries, together they strive to deliver the best fast fashion products and services to its customers. Three more stores are planned to be opened in Slovenia, Czech Republic and Poland by 2020.
14. Ardagh Glass Sales ($9.1B)
Ardagh Glass Sales is a part of the Ardagh Group, originally from Dublin. This company sells glass and metal packaging it manufactures across its assets in 22 countries. Ardagh Glass Sales is the retailer of the largest rigid packaging company in the world. It made $9.1B in sales in 2018 and registered a $8.6B turnover in the same year. Judging by the increasing production volumes of the Ardagh Group, these numbers are expected to grow.
15. Ryanair Holdings ($7.9B)
Ryanair Holdings plc (later Ryanair) is a popular low-cost airline from Ireland with an impressive $21.3B market cap. The company’s sales for 2018 were $7.9B. In Europe, it is the biggest airline of its kind as per scheduled and international number of passengers. Ryanair serves routes between 37 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa with its fleet of 439 aircraft. This is made possible by 13,000+ employees. Ryanair DAC and the three subsidiaries from UK, Austria and Poland managed to generate $1.1B net income in 2018.
16. Kerry Group ($7.2B)
Kerry Group plc (further Kerry Group) is an Irish public food company, founded by three shareholders in 1972. Around 24,000 employees are working across the production, sales and technical assets of the company and serving customers in over 140 countries. Divided into six business areas, the company supplies 15,000 food products to half of the world and manages to get high sales. Thus, its sales for 2018 were $7.2B, and the market cap - $18.7B.
17. Total Produce ($5.7B)
Total Produce plc (further Total Produce) is the fresh fruit and vegetable producer from Ireland. It is the major shareholder of the Dole Food Company from the US (a 45% stake) and two fresh produce distributors from Netherlands (a 60% stake). Even though the adverse weather conditions in Europe hit its pretax profit, Total Produce still ended the year well. It made sales for $5.7B and got a decent place in our largest Irish companies rating.
18. AerCap Holdings ($5B)
AerCap Holdings (further AerCap) is the biggest independent aircraft leasing company in the world. Its fleet consists of almost 2,000 aircrafts, owned, managed or on order. Thirty of them are Boeing 787-9s ordered at the Paris Air Show in 2017. The company assets are operated by over 400 employees, who are serving 200+ countries in around 80 countries. Providing comprehensive fleet solutions to its clients, AerCap managed to make $5B sales in 2018 and achieve an $8B market cap.
19. Experian ($4.3B)
Experian plc (further Experian), another American company, moved its headquarters to Ireland due to the tax policy, is a major consumer credit reporting company. With annual revenue of $4.6B and sales of $4.3B, registered in 2018, Experian made it to the Forbes Global 2,000 list. The company employs over 16,200 professionals that provide consumer services to customers from 37 countries. Experian data aggregator holds information on 1B+ people and businesses all over the world.
20. Bank of Ireland ($4B)
Bank of Ireland Group plc (further Bank of Ireland) is one of the oldest financial institutions in Ireland and one of the “Big Four” local banks. Around 12,000 employees are serving clients across the country for over 200 years. It is also the local leader in consecutive operation term. Successfully operating in five segments, including the Retail UK one, Bank of Ireland got a market cap of $9.7B and $4B in sales in 2018.
21. Glanbia ($3.9B)
Glanbia plc (further Glanbia) is an Irish international nutrition manufacturer, operating in 32 countries with the help of over 6,600 employees. Over $4B annual revenue, $3.9B of which were sales, were registered by the company in 2018. Due to these numbers, Glanbia managed to become a part of the Top Irish companies by sales in 2018, created by Global Database. Glanbia is distributing its vitamin premixes, sports nutrition, dairy and non-dairy products in more than 130 countries.
22. Allied Irish Banks ($3.8B)
Allied Irish Banks plc (further AIB) is one more member of the “Big Four” commercial banks in Ireland with a market cap of $16.2B and sales of $3.8B as per 2018. The full range of corporate and personal banking services are provided to the bank’s European clients by almost 11,000 employees. AIB was nationalised in 2010 after accepting a big bailout from the Government and passed through the IPO process 7 years later, in 2017.
23. Musgrave ($3.7B)
Musgrave Group Ltd (further Musgrave) is a food wholesaler from Ireland with almost two-centuries history. It’s the biggest local grocery distributor, operating a network of franchised retail brands in two countries - Ireland and Spain. Musgrave also plans to expand to Bahrain with a chain of high-end supermarkets. The sales of $3.7B, made by Musgrave in 2018, allowed it to become one of the largest companies in Ireland in 2018 according to Global Database.
24. Tesco Ireland ($2.6B)
Tesco Ireland is the subsidiary of the UK retail chain in Ireland. Being the most prominent local food retailer, it operates 150 hypermarkets, supermarkets, and convenience stores across the country. Its sales of $2.6B in 2018 made it possible for Tesco Ireland to become one of the companies listed in our rating of the biggest Irish companies by revenue.
25. ESB Group ($1.6B)
Electricity Supply Board (further ESB) was the monopolist on the electricity market of the Republic of Ireland. Now, this state-owned company operates as a commercial one in a competitive market. ESB made $1.6B in sales in 2018 and managed to get $42M of operating profit due to the hard work of its 7,800 employees across the company facilities. ESB is on its way to maximum possible carbon intensity reduction, the goal being 38gCO2 / kWh.