The Enterprise Ireland Annual Report 2014, officially published last week, is packed not just with data and figures but also with many case studies of Irish business success stories.
Irish exporters achieved record exports of €18.6bn – an increase of almost 10% on 2013 figures – and the highest export sales in the history of the agency. Exports now account for 51% of total sales by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland, compared with 42% in 2004.
Growth was recorded in exports to all international regions and across all sectors. The top-five exporting countries are the UK, US, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Exports to these countries together accounted for just over €11bn or 61% of export sales in 2014.
Greatest wins in 2014 came from the Software sector with exports up by 19% to €1.3bn, followed by the Construction (up 14% to €2.35bn) and Life Sciences manufacturing sectors (up 11% to €3bn).
Demand for Irish goods showed greatest growth in the Latin America and Asia Pacific regions - up 42% and 25% respectively. The UK market grew by 9% to a record €6.8bn, while the US and Canadian market increased by 16% to €2.34bn.
Responding to evolving growth opportunities and to clients’ export strategies, Enterprise Ireland opened new overseas offices in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and in Perth, Australia.
2014 was a year of record employment levels in Enterprise Ireland client companies, with total direct employment of 180,072. Of these 156,202 were full time jobs while 23,870 were other jobs. This represents the highest level of total employment and full time employment in the history of the agency.
Companies supported by Enterprise Ireland now, directly and indirectly, account for more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy – equating to 16% of Ireland’s total workforce. Their total spend in the Irish economy reached €22.9bn in 2014.
“These results are reflected in the record jobs performance by Enterprise Ireland clients in 2014 when our clients reported the highest net job gains in the history of the agency, and further validate Enterprise Ireland’s investment in indigenous industry. Enterprise Ireland is very proud of the companies we work with and their outstanding achievement in continuing to increase export sales,” commented Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.
To help them achieve such success, Enterprise Ireland partnered with some great Irish companies, like, for example: Samco, Botany Weaving, Cartoon Saloon, Embo Medical, Pharmapod, AltraTech, Version1, Ribworld, East Coast Bakehouse, vStream, Vistamed, Takumi, Combilift, to name just a few.
This Annual Report for 2014 is also an account of the first year of Enterprise Ireland three-year strategy: ‘Driving Enterprise, Delivering Jobs’. The strategy is built on four pillars: 1) Driving Entrepreneurship 2) Fostering Innovation 3) Developing International Scale and 4) Building Future Competitive Advantage.
“Going forward, into the second year of our strategy, the key priority is to build more Irish companies of scale because fast-growing companies create more jobs,” said Julie Sinnamon.
“Our sights are on 2020 and an Ireland where Irish companies are a powerhouse of economic growth and prosperity in towns and villages throughout Ireland,” Enterprise Ireland CEO added.
The Annual Report and Accounts can be accessed on Enterprise Ireland website: www.enterprise-ireland.com/annualreport2014
The full strategy document can be read here