North's top 100 companies see profits soar by 80 per cent as Moy Park heads list

Michael Neill, partner at Top 100 sponsor A&L Goodbody, Chris Kirke, president of Moy Park, and Ulster Business editor John Mulgrew. Photo: Elaine Hill Photography

THE north's biggest companies have boosted their profits by almost 80 per cent in the space of a year, research for a Belfast business publication shows.

And for the seventh year running Moy Park retained top spot on the Ulster Business Top 100 Companies 2018 edition with its turnover of £1.4 billion.

Overall, turnover among the Top 100, which is now in its 30th year, increased by around 9 per cent, rising from £21.88 billion to £23.85 billion, when comparing company accounts, year-on-year.

The 200-page edition of the magazine features in-depth analysis of Northern Ireland business and showcases the biggest companies across the region, ranked by turnover.

Pre-tax profits for those making the list grew by 79 per cent, rising from £517.5m to £924.9m.

This year has seen some exceptional sales performances, including John Graham Holdings Ltd, which trades as Graham Construction.

It saw one of the biggest leaps on the list, soaring more than £200m in turnover and rising to fifth, while W&R Barnett is now the only other company on the list to join the ‘billion club'.

However, fuel wholesaler LCC Group is fast approaching that mark, with its turnover soaring to £852.8m.

Ulster Business editor John Mulgrew said: “This year's Top 100 list is another clear example of the strength of Northern Ireland's business landscape, right across the sectors.

“The majority of company results have taken place during the ongoing stasis, with a lack of a devolved government in Northern Ireland, which makes the huge surges in profit and turnover even more impressive.”

Chris Kirke, president of top-ranked Moy Park, said: “We're tremendously proud to be recognised as Northern Ireland's top company once again in the prestigious Ulster Business Top 100, particularly as it coincides with our 75th anniversary celebrations.

“It's the great people within the business that makes Moy Park the successful company it is today. It is our talented team and our focus on enhancing operations across our facilities that will ensure we can continue to innovate, thrive and grow.”

Michael Neill, head of Belfast office at law firm A&L Goodbody, sponsor of the Top 100, added: “As an international law firm with offices in Belfast, Dublin, London and in the US, we enjoy working with many of the Top 100 Companies in the Northern Ireland market and further afield, advising on both domestic and international matters.

“We have been inspired by their drive, determination and resilience, and the example they set to Northern Ireland plc. We very much look forward to seeing their businesses continue to thrive over the next 12 months.”

There are more than a dozen new entrants to this year's list, including Belfast technology firm Kainos, Draperstown construction company Heron Brothers and Mac Interiors based in Newry.

Strathroy Dairy has joined the list at number 99, after posting a £20m surge in turnover, while Dale Farm shot up into the top 10.

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