2020 Turnover at Ireland’s Top-50 contractors tops €10bn

Ireland’s Top-50 main and specialist services contractors achieved a combined turnover of €10.54bn in 2020 up from €9.74bn in 2019. An increase in extraordinary times of 8.26%, that’s according to the annual industry league table that appears in the latest edition of Irish building magazine.

John Sisk & Son retained top position with turnover of over €1.5bn, up from €1.39bn in 2019. Overall, in 2020 Ireland’s largest contractor’s turnover increased by 6.2% to just over €1.5bn, the company recorded a before-tax profit of €23.3m, and maintained high levels of cash with zero bank borrowings.

COVID-19 presented a rapidly changing dynamic and the construction industry was a vanguard for implementing new and safe work practices. A collective coming together meant Covid cases in construction were among the lowest for any industry sector in Ireland. The low number of cases during the pandemic can be credited to immediate action on behalf of contractors and the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), a document created by the Construction Industry Federation Safety and Health Subcommittee which serves as a guide for the management of COVID-19 on a construction site for the duration of the pandemic.

Colin Walsh, Media Director, Irish building magazine said: “The construction industry in Ireland has proven once again that even in the most difficult of times that it delivers for our country and our economy. An increase in turnover of 8.26% in 2020 shows the trajectory the industry was on.

“The industry is now playing catch up to client and societal demand for vital projects, housing and infrastructure delivery. In housing alone over 200,000 units will need to be built in Ireland over the next three years, according to a new report from Davy. This figure was 106,000 in 2020. A clear indicator of the shortfall caused during lockdown and pent up demand.”

Growth abroad

The Top-50 shows that Irish contractors are gaining momentum abroad with a non-Irish turnover of over €4.1bn in 2020 up by almost 25% in 2019.

In an effort to mitigate Brexit’s impact on UK activity many Irish contractors have looked to mainland Europe, the UAE and the US to develop and grow markets.

The increase in foreign turnover was also facilitated by the continuation of construction activity in most European countries as Ireland was one of only a handful that placed restrictions on the industry during Covid.

Looking forward

Linesight Director, Stephen Ashe said: “Truly, the last year-and-a-half has been the shot in the arm the industry needed to embrace transformation. The construction industry is not just recovering, but re-imagining, embracing modern methods of construction and digitalisation.

“The road ahead is not necessarily smooth, as we face huge challenges in terms of sustainability, materials scarcity, price increases, and skills gaps. It is essential that we take advantage of every efficiency and cost saving that technology can offer us, in order to boost our resilience in the face of challenges, and to create more interesting roles within a safer industry to attract new talent.”

Since 2015 the Top-50 annual listing showcases the best in Irish Construction and highlights the critical importance of the construction sector to the Irish economy and exchequer.

Following the lifting of restrictions Construction Industry activity ramped up at its sharpest pace since February 2016 and the second-fastest on record. The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – posted 66.4 in May, up sharply from 49.3 in April and above the 50.0 no-change mark for the first time since the imposition of the lockdown at the start of the year. Index readings above 50 signal an increase in activity on the previous month and readings below 50 signal a decrease.

Construction can provide real opportunities for school leavers and graduates. The construction industry is now far removed from its traditional image and offers great opportunities to young people. Construction jobs span the gamut from onsite work, construction project management, engineering, design, engineering, digital construction technology operation.

For more details on the Top-50 main and specialist services contractors, you can read the entire edition now onlineIrish building magazine has published the Top-50 listing of main and specialist services contractors since 2015. 


Main and Specialist Services Contractors

Position Main Contractor 2020 €’m (Est global)
1 John Sisk & Son Limited 1,503.00
2 PJ Hegarty & Sons U.C. 564.00
3 BAM Contractors Limited 520.00
4 Collen Construction Limited 450.00
5 John Paul Construction Limited 447.80
6 Bennett Construction Limited 367.00
7 JJ Rhatigan & Company UC 288.00
8 Walls Construction Limited 273.50
9 Roadbridge 264.00
10 Mac Group 150.00
11 Murphy Ireland 138.00
12 Ardmac Limited 129.10
13 Structure Tone Limited (Irish activity)* 125.00
14 Wills Bros Limited 115.00
15 Stewart Construction 109.00
16 Flynn Management & Contractors Limited 107.00
17 Duggan Brothers (Contractors) Limited 106.80
18 Townmore Construction 85.00
19 Conack Construction Ltd 76.40
20 Clancy Construction Limited 70.67
21 Monami Construction Ltd 61.60
22 Vision Contracting Limited 61.49
23 Gem Group 59.83
24 MMD Construction Cork Limited 49.42
25 Ganson Building & Civil Engineering Contractors Ltd 48.00
26 Elliott Group 45.00
27 Purcell Construction Limited 43.00
28 Kilcawley Building and Civil Engineering (Sligo) Ltd 41.00
29 David Flynn Limited 35.84
30 Townlink Construction Limited 35.00
Position Specialist Services Contractor  2020 €’m (Est global)
1 Mercury Engineering Group 1,040.00
2 Jones Engineering Group 715.00
3 Winthrop Engineering and Contracting Limited 585.81
4 Dornan Engineering Limited 488.00
5 Kirby Group Engineering Limited 292.74
6 Designer Group Engineering Contractors Limited 203.00
7 Suir Engineering Limited 189.00
8 Specialist Technical Engineering Services (STS Group) 182.00
9 King & Moffatt Building Services 109.93
10 Leo Lynch 50.00
11 Gaeltec 47.68
12 Lynskey Engineering Limited 45.00
13 DMG Engineering Limited 44.00
14 LMC Group Ltd 42.67
15 Weltec Engineering 37.15
16 CJK Electrical Limited 29.05
17 Riverside Mechanical 21.07
18 Rockwell Engineering 19.50
19 Tritech Engineering 19.00
20 T Bourke & Co. Limited 11.80