Welcome to the Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies 2018 in association with Arthur Cox.
The make-up of this year’s Top 100 reflects many business and economic trends. Our four main banks are represented in the top 10, signalling the resurgence of the sector — and a likely harbinger that competition between the four, to say nothing of non-indigenous competitors, is only going to heighten. That is good news for their business customers.
We are also happy that the Top 100 continues to celebrate the success of many of our homegrown manufacturers and traders, from the family-run W&R Barnett and Norbrook Holdings, to Moy Park, now part of Pilgrim’s Pride. And the Top 100 would be far less stimulating without the big changes it reflects, such as the decision of Lagan Group to sell the majority of its interests to Breedon Group Aggregates — a new presence in the Top 100.
Lagan Group’s sale of many of its interests, such as asphalt and quarrying, but its retention of the Lagan Homes business, is a reminder of the growing importance of housebuilding. Some in our Top 100, such as FP McCann, now have housebuilding divisions which complement their main activities.
No company faced greater turmoil in 2017 than aeroplane manufacturer Bombardier. We have to welcome their candour in describing 2017 as another challenging year. But it is comforting to reflect that one of the biggest hurdles it faced during the year – a challenge to the sale of its C Series in the US by rival Boeing — ultimately worked out in its favour.
This year we also list our Top 50 biggest employers.
The Top 100 does show a pattern of growing profits and success. But it’s wrong to ignore some of the problems that our Top 100 are battling are coping with — thankfully, with success. The lack of Executive is a brake on optimism about the future of Northern Ireland, whether we like it or not.
Brexit serves as another worry for companies in Northern Ireland as there is still no satisfactory conclusion to the issue of how the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic will operate.
Click/tap on the expand button to reveal full details for each company in the searchable table below.