Microsoft tops Irish exporters list

Microsoft has become the top exporter in Ireland, increasing its export turnover by 37 per cent in the past year and beating competition from fellow tech firms Google and Dell.

The technology giant, which has been operating in Ireland for more than 25 years, increased export turnover to €13.7 billion, the 2013 edition of Top 250 Exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland showed today. Microsoft employs more than 1,200 people directly, and has 700 contract staff on its books.

The company’s Irish division has been involved in the development of key elements of its new Windows 8 operating system.

Tech firms featured heavily in the top 20 companies on the list, which was compiled by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) in association with Investec. Google came in second in this year’s report, with exports of €12.5 billion. The company employs some 2,500 people in Ireland.

Limerick-based Dell was ranked in fourth place with €9.9 billion.

Oracle, which totalled €5.6 billion in exports, came in ninth, followed closely by chip maker Intel, whose exports totalled €5.5 billion. Apple and IBM also made it into the top 20.

“The dominance of the information communications technology (ICT) sector in the top echelons of Irish exports industry continued in the Top 250 survey for 2013,” IEA chief executive John Whelan said. “Total exports from the sector grew by 12 per cent in the past year maintaining Ireland’s place as the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Of the Top 20 companies listed, 10 of them are focused within the ICT arena.”

In the food and drink sector, Kerry Group topped the table with exports of €5.7 billion, followed by Glanbia with €2.4 billion in exports.

Johnson &Johnson, which came third in the overall table with €10.5 billion in exports, topped the life sciences sector, followed by medical devices manufacturer Stryker and Pfizer. Source: The Irish Times