Construction firm CRH has topped The Irish Times TOP 1000 2017. The TOP 1000 is the definitive database of Ireland’s leading companies.
The outlook for 2017 is positive, and many sectors of the economy are rebounding after the challenges of the last few years.
Profits increase significantly
Profits are up. Ireland’s top companies increased their net profits to €34 billion since 2016, up from €28 billion in 2016 and €22.4 billion in 2015.
This figure does not reflect the full picture. Multinationals, such as Apple, Penneys, IBM and Intel do not report financial figures for their Irish operations. As a result, the profit figure is likely to be considerably higher.
In addition, financial institutions including Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank are no long in debt.
CRH tops the list
Construction behemoth CRH has held onto first position. The company had a global turnover of €27 billion, in addition to a massive €700 jump in profits.
Second placed Medtronic is snapping at CRH’s heels with a global turnover of €26 billion in the year to April 2017.
Google has moved up to third place, former winner Microsoft placed fourth, and Oracle is up two places to edge into the Top 10.
A number of well-known companies are just outside the Top 10. Facebook gained five places to move into 13th position and Ryanair is in at 15.
Medtronic is Ireland’s most profitable company
Medtronic added almost €300 million to its profits in 2017. As a result, it is Ireland’s most profitable company. However, like many of the multinationals with Irish operations, Medtronic generates the majority of its profits from its global business.
Other Irish companies with impressive profits include Smurfit Kappa with €654 million, the Kerry Group at €611 million and €314 million for Kingspan.
Big profits and large tax bills
Medtronic, Ireland’s most profitable company, is also Ireland’s biggest taxpayer. The company has a tax bill of €518 million for 2017. That’s around 13 percent.
CRH paid an effective rate of 27 percent, racking up a bill of €471 million last year.
Smurfit Kappa has one of the highest tax rates at 30 percent. Their tax bill was €196 million of tax on earnings of €654 million.
Companies don’t always pay the corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent. The rate can change, with companies paying tax at a higher rate in one year, and a lower rate the next.