The landscape for Irish business has changed, changed utterly

Top 1000: Before the lockdown, business was in pretty good shape, with impressive evidence of firms thriving year on year

Welcome to The Irish Times guide to the top 1000 companies of 2020.

This year’s listing, while in the same format as usual, feels radically different. Who could have imagined when companies were publishing or filing their annual results for 2018 or 2019 that the business landscape would have changed beyond recognition within a few weeks?

Rather than showing the Irish business eco- system as it is right now, therefore, this year’s list offers a snapshot in time. This is how things stood before the wrecking ball of Covid-19 swung in and laid waste to annual plans and projections.

High tide

It should also act as a high tide line for next year’s Top 1000, when we’ll be more able to see just how far the waters receded for Irish firms during the crisis.


We hope too that it will reassure many.

Before the lockdown, Irish business was in pretty good shape, with impressive evidence of firms thriving year on year. Those strong fundamentals will stand to those businesses that can hunker down and see out the worst of the crisis.

Apple remains at the pinnacle of our list, with revenues of €116.811 billion. The composition of our top 10 is mostly unchanged, albeit with Johnson Controls, which manufactures heat, ventilation and security equipment, appearing at third in the list in its first time being ranked as an Irish-domiciled multinational.

Homegrown heroes CRH and DCC remain in the top 10, with CRH dipping from third to seventh place and DCC slipping a place to ninth position.

New normal

To discover how Irish business leaders are coping with the new normal, we talked to some of the winners of The Irish Times Business Person of the Month award over the past year.

Their clear-eyed pragmatism gave us hope for the future.And the other business people we spoke to for this issue impressed us too. They’re responding in nimble and imaginative ways to the crisis, fi- guring out how to serve customers and stay con- nected with their teams, while looking ahead and seeking out a new path forward.

Home office

Meanwhile, we hope you find some inspiration within these pages, whether it’s on improving how you manage remote workers or finetuning your home office set-up.

And we’ve included some thoughts on competition and resilience from some people who literally pull on the green jersey when they’re not in the office.

We always welcome your thoughts, so please drop us a line at

Our definitive guide, published with The Irish Times on Friday, June 12th is also available