The Construction Industry Federation (CIF ) Top 50 Construction Contractors for 2019 have been announced, with one Mayo firm making the list with a turnover of €90 million.
The combined turnover for Ireland’s top 50 construction companies increased by 25% to €8.39 billion last year according to the Top 50 list.
The annual listing gives a snapshot of the overall growth in Irish construction as it delivers many large-scale projects throughout Ireland and the world, attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland and exporting almost €2.5 billion in construction expertise.
Mayo company Wills Bros Ltd wasranked number 23 on the list.
According to Construction magazine’s figures, the top 50 Irish contractors reported a combined turnover of €8.39 billion in 2018, with €5.9 billion of this activity taking place in Ireland, and almost €2.5 billion resulting from exported construction services, up more than 54% from €1.62 billion in 2017.
Over the years, the construction industry federation has seen a year on year increase in the turnover for the CIF top 50 contractors. In 2015, total turnover for the CIF top 50 was €4.9 billion, jumping to €6.72 billion in 2017, and €8.39 billion in 2018.
The Irish turnover for CIF’s Top 50 has remained high, increasing 15.7% from €5.1 billion in 2017, to €5.9 billion in 2018.
Justin Molloy, Regional Director, CIF commented: "During the recession, construction companies internationalised as the domestic economy collapsed. We are now seeing a huge dividend in terms of export growth. A key driver of export growth is our expertise in data centre construction. Dublin has about 24% of the entire EU’s data centre market, just 1% behind London. Our expertise in this area and in Mechanical and Electrical and civil engineering for example, is recognised globally.
"However, despite the strong growth in turnover across the industry, margins are still very tight and there isn’t sufficient work in the regions to maintain a strong, balanced and sustainable contractor sector in Ireland. This doesn’t augur well for the Government’s national development plan or the objective of developing vibrant regions in Project Ireland 2040. The CIF is working closely with Government to modernise the public sector procurement system to ensure that the exchequer, the citizen and the contractor get optimal return. Operating margins are too low across the sector and this has seen a spate of companies going into administration and liquidation as companies dependent on public sector work are pincered between fixed price contracts and an environment of rising labour and materials costs.”
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said: "Construction must be made more attractive as a career choice. The apprenticeships system is being expanded, offering an entry for young people into the industry. Much progress has been made over the last year and half on construction projects nationwide, as well as improvements in the construction sector. There is much more to do to ensure that Ireland has all of the infrastructure it requires as we develop further as a country. Central to this will be to ensure that the construction sector continues to advance its capabilities and capacity with the support of Government.”