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Profits jump 80pc at North’s biggest firms

Northern Ireland’s biggest companies have seen their profits increase by almost 80pc in 12 months.

This is according to the 2018 ‘Top 100 Companies’ from industry magazine ‘Ulster Business’.

Leading the way was Armagh-based poultry producer Moy Park, which reported a turnover of £1.4bn (€1.57bn) over 12 months.

This is the seventh year in a row that the North’s largest private sector business has topped the list.

Moy Park processes over 280 millions birds a year, in addition to producing around 200,000 tons of prepared foods annually.

It saw its profits increase to £59.7m (€66.9m) last year from £35.7m the previous year.

Chris Kirke, president of Moy Park, said that it was the “great people” within the business that have made it 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,” said Mr Kirke.

Overall, turnover among the Ulster Business Top 100 – now in its 30th year – increased by around 9pc, rising to £23.85bn from £21.88bn, when comparing company accounts year-on-year.

Pre-tax profits for the 100 companies making the list grew by 79pc, rising to £924.9m from £517.5m the previous year.

One of the biggest jumps on the list was from Graham Construction.

During the 12-month period the company saw its revenue soar by more than £200m to £759m.

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

“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.”

There were more than a dozen new entrants to this year’s list, from right across the business spectrum, including Belfast technology firm Kainos, and Mac Interiors, which is based in Newry.

The Ulster Business Top 100 edition was welcomed by Michael Neill, head of A&L Goodbody in Belfast, which sponsored the list.

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

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