Irish Economy
Forty American firms account for two-thirds of Irish exports
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jul 4, 2014 - 7:31 AM

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Just forty American firms account for two-thirds of Irish headline exports and they directly employ about 72,000 people in Ireland - - equivalent to 3.3% of the workforce.

We say 'headline' exports as from Thursday's revised value of 2013 total exports of €184bn*, about €70bn could be attributed to excess transfer pricing in manufacturing and Double Irish Dutch Sandwich tax avoidance schemes in services.

The three sectoral categories where US firms operate are Pharmaceuticals/Medical Devices, High Tech Manufacturing/Software/Web Services and Financial Services.

1. The Pharmaceuticals/Medical Devices sector accounted for 57% of merchandise exports in 2013.

The Forfás annual employment survey has 51,000 employed in the sector in 2013 with 4,000 in indigenous firms while the CSO (Central Statistics Office) estimates employment at 41,000.

Pfizer is the top firm with exports of €7bn and a payroll of more than 3,000.

Our estimate in this sector is 22 American firms with employment at 39,000 and exports of €48bn.

2. In High Tech Manufacturing/Software/Web Services we have 14 firms using both published accounts information and The Irish Times Top 1,000 companies.

Google, Microsoft, Dell Products (it books the output of its Polish plant in Ireland) and Oracle account for 70% of the exports of  €66bn by this group.

Google and Microsoft, the biggest tax avoiders, account for €30bn. There are 32,000 employed.

3. In Financial Services, banking, insurance and aviation leasing accounts for 26% of services exports in 2013.

Aviation leasing accounts for €7.5bn in exports.

It has a small number of firms in the sector with small payrolls managing over 3,000 commercial aircraft from Dublin with a value equivalent to half Ireland's GDP.

We have included 4 firms with an exports estimate of €5bn and a payroll of 600.

We haven't sales estimates for Citibank and Bank of America, which employ about 4,000 and 2,000 respectively in Ireland.

We have omitted these firms but in the High Tech Manufacturing/Software/Web Services category, we included Apple from the Top 1,000 listing - - it has about 4,000 employed in Ireland but most of the estimated sales of €6bn maybe offshore.

In summary, we have 72,000 working in 40 firms that book exports of €119bn -- 65% of annual exports.

*We have included the original value of 2013 exports in the chart above for comparative purposes as the change of standard is not a normal revision.

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