Booming life sciences sector boosts revenues at Jacobs Engineering by 40%

Directors agreed to pay dividend of €20m to Irish firm’s European parent

Bob Pragada, global chief executive of Jacobs Engineering. He said the group's pipeline is 'robust' for 2024. Photograph: Bryan Meade

Increased activity in the Republic’s manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors last year drove an increase of more than 15 per cent in revenues at the Irish arm of engineering and construction giant Jacobs.

Accounts filed recently for Jacobs Engineering Ireland show that profits after tax jumped almost 40 per cent at the Irish entity in the year to the end of September last, to just under €17.9 million. Revenues were more than 39 per cent up on the previous year at €602.7 million.

In a report attached to the filings the directors said the jump in revenues reflected an uptick in its professional services business, “driven by increased activity across several of the big markets in which our clients operate, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, transportation and water”.

The firm’s gross profit margin improved from 12 per cent in 2022 as it exited the pandemic to 14 per cent last year amid a fall in administrative expenses as energy prices began to normalise in the latter part of 2023.


The board approved a dividend payment of €20 million to its European parent for the year, up from €12.5 million in 2022.

Directors said they expect 2024 to be another strong year, with plans to achieve 43 per cent of its revenue from business already won. That is a 25 percentage point decrease from this year as Jacobs continues to catch up following the pandemic.

Speaking to The Irish Times in May, Jacobs global chief executive Bob Pragada said the group’s global pipeline was robust. “Specifically, we would say that in life sciences and in water the pipeline has doubled in just the last year. If you take Ireland as a microcosm of that global pipeline, the same thing has happened.”

The Dallas, Texas-headquartered firm, synonymous in the Republic with Intel for which it built the chip giant’s first fabrication plant in Ireland in 1990, recently celebrated 50 years in the Irish market.

Jacobs also advised on the new Dublin Metrolink project and has worked with life sciences giants Pfizer and Edwards on various projects in Ireland.

The group recently announced plans to hire an additional 100 staff in the Republic over the next two years as it opened a new Irish headquarters buildings, bringing its headcount here to more than 1,300.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times