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Business Performance in Ireland

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The performance of business in Ireland in 2015 was examined using a number of performance indicators. The structural business surveys 1 were used to compile the data.

Labour productivity, personnel costs as a percentage of Gross Value Added (GVA) and enterprise profitability were analysed. The contribution of the 50 largest enterprises, both in terms of GVA and employment were also examined. 

GVA represents the value of the goods and services produced, in this case, in the Irish business economy. A simple measure of productivity is to analyse GVA by the number of persons engaged. The relatively large multinational sector in Ireland and the consequent assignment of value added to the Irish economy, can make the interpretation of indicators like GVA per person more difficult. 

Care should be taken when looking at the results for Micro sized enterprises. This size class covers enterprises with less than 10 persons engaged. This also includes enterprises that officially have no persons engaged assigned to them, but in some cases have significant economic value.  In Figure 4.3 we can see that personnel costs relative to GVA are lower for Micro enterprises than for other SMEs. 

(1) The surveys used were Census of Industrial Production (CIP), Building and Construction Inquiry (BCI) and Annual Services Inquiry (ASI). Financial and Insurance activities were excluded from this analysis.

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Irish-ownedAll enterprises
Micro <107037982410
Small 10-494795557675
Medium 50-2495176168075
Large 250+80052291667
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All size classes62155131852
  • Gross Value Added per person engaged averaged €131,852 for all enterprises in the Irish non-financial business economy in 2015, while Irish-owned enterprises averaged €62,155
  • Small enterprises reported GVA per person of €57,675, which increased to €68,075 for Medium enterprises
  • GVA was just over €80,000 per person for Large Irish enterprises, but rose to €291,667 when all similar sized enterprises are included
SMEs (<250)Large (250+)
All sectors70713291677
Industry101232784490
Construction5468892867
Distribution5907546201
Services72558139692
  • Gross Value Added per person engaged averaged €291,677 for Large enterprises and €70,713 for SMEs in the Irish non-financial business economy during 2015
  • In comparison to other sectors, Large Industrial enterprises reported the highest average GVA per person engaged, at €784,490  
  • Industrial SMEs also reported the highest GVA per person engaged in their size class, at €101,232
  • In Construction, average GVA per person engaged in Large firms was €92,867 and for SMEs €54,688
  • The difference between GVA reported by Large firms and those classified as SMEs is smallest in the Distribution sector, where Large enterprises reported GVA per person engaged of €46,201 and SMEs €59,075
  • In the Services sector, average GVA per person engaged by large firms reached €139,692 compared to €72,558 for SMEs in 2015 
Irish-ownedAll enterprises
Micro (<10)51.243.9
Small (10-49)71.161.2
Medium (50-249)69.858.1
Large (250+)5515.9
00
All size classes59.129.9
  • In 2015, personnel costs represented 29.9% of GVA across all enterprises. For Irish-owned enterprises the figure was 59.1%
  • Personnel costs as a proportion of GVA for Large Irish-owned enterprises was 55%
  • When large foreign enterprises were included the value of personnel costs for all large enterprises fell to 15.9%
SMES (<250)Large (250+)
All sectors56.616
Industry43.18
Construction 59.926
Distribution58.564.8
Services51.233.3
  • In all sectors except Distribution, it was shown that personnel costs as a percentage of GVA was lower in Large enterprises than in Small and Medium Enterprises in 2015
  • Large Industrial enterprises paid 8% of GVA in personnel costs compared to 43.1% for Industrial SMEs
  • Services enterprises that employed more than 250 people incurred personnel costs equivalent to a third of GVA compared to approximately half of all GVA for SMEs in 2015
Irish -ownedAll enterprises
Micro (<10)11.612.3
Small (10-49)7.79
Medium (50-249)7.79.3
Large (250+)9.928
00
All size classes9.519.6
  • For all enterprises in the Irish non-financial business economy, 19.6% of Turnover was reported as Gross Operating Surplus
  • Irish-owned enterprises reported 9.5% of Turnover as Gross Operating Surplus
  • The highest rate of Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover at 28% was reported by all Large enterprises combined
SMEs (<250)Large (250+)
All sectors10.428
Industry16.738.7
Construction16.326.6
Distribution66.3
Services12.212.1
  • Large enterprises generated a Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover of 28% in 2015 compared to SMEs who generated 10.4%
  • The Distribution sector generated the least Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover, with Large enterprises at 6.3% and SMEs at 6% in 2015
  • The Industry sector generated the most Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover, with Large enterprises at 38.7% and SMEs at 16.7% in 2015
Top 50 by employmentTop 50 by GVA
Gross operating surplus50.459.5
GVA37.254.6
Turnover27.636.4
  • Industry stands out in terms of its reliance on a small number of high value added enterprises. The 50 largest enterprises in Industry by GVA accounted for 68.6% of total Turnover, 85.9% of total GVA and 94% of Gross Operating Surplus for the sector
  • The 50 largest enterprises in the business economy by GVA accounted for 36.4% of total Turnover, 54.6% of total GVA and 59.5% of Gross Operating Surplus. These Top 50 enterprises only accounted for 6.4% of all persons engaged
  • The 50 largest enterprises in the business economy by employment accounted for 27.6% of total Turnover, 37.2% of total GVA and 50.4% of Gross Operating Surplus
Show Table: 4.1 Contribution of 50 largest enterprises by GVA within sector, 2015

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