The total turnover for Ireland’s top construction companies rose to €8.39bn last year, new research shows.
This was an increase of 25% on the previous year, according to Construction magazine’s annual Top 50 CIF Contractors listing for 2019.
The listing gives an overview of the overall growth in Irish construction covering projects at home and abroad.
The 2018 figures show that €5.9bn of the total construction activity took place in Ireland, and almost €2.5bn resulted from exported services, up more than 54% from €1.62bn in 2017.
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 €4.9bn, jumping to €6.72bn in 2017, and €8.39bn in 2018.
Speaking at the launch of the listing, Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF said: "During the recession, construction companies internationalised as the domestic economy collapsed. We are now seeing a huge dividend in terms of export growth.
"Our expertise in this area and in Mechanical and Electrical and civil engineering for example, is recognised globally.
"We will be working with Enterprise Ireland in the coming year to develop an export driven growth strategy for the industry. Expanding into foreign markets is a key step to reducing the boom/bust volatility the industry has been a victim in the past.
"Today’s figures show there is further transformative export growth potential in construction with a concerted effort from industry and Government.
"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," he said.
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.
"Central to this will be to ensure that the construction sector continues to advance its capabilities and capacity with the support of Government.”