Enterprise Ireland Annual Report 2009 Reveals Irish Companies' Resilience During Global Recession
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Mr Batt O'Keeffe T.D. has welcomed Enterprise Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts 2009 published today, (Thursday 8 July 2010) saying the report shows a robust performance by Irish companies during the global economic recession in 2009. Minister O'Keeffe also stated that Enterprise Ireland client companies will create 60,000 jobs by the end of 2015.
Enterprise Ireland is the Government agency responsible for the development of Irish companies and driving Irish export sales. Enterprise Ireland client companies are responsible for over 250,000 jobs (134,000 directly employed) and spend an estimated €19bn per annum in the Irish economy, delivering huge economic impact to communities across almost every town in Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts 2009 show that during 2009, a year of unprecedented challenge for Irish business, client companies continued to win new export sales, start new high potential enterprises, invest in high-value research and development projects and create jobs.
According to Enterprise Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts 2009, total export sales by Enterprise Ireland client companies in 2009 were almost €13bn and included new export sales of €693 million. This represents 90% of the levels achieved in 2008, which itself was a record year. Many companies maintained their existing export business while a number of sectors recorded growth in total export sales, including software, internationally traded services and life sciences.
Entrepreneurship and High Potential Start-Ups
In 2009, Enterprise Ireland made seed capital investments in 73 new high potential start-up companies which together will create over 900 new jobs and achieve total sales of over €600 million within the next three years.
Enterprise Ireland's investment in over 800 start-up companies over a 20 year period (1989 - 2009) has yielded more than €1 billion in Irish exports and in excess of 14,000 jobs.
Research and Commercialisation
Over 120 client companies were approved financial support in excess of €100,000 for significant R&D projects, a significant increase on 2008 (89). Thirty five spin-out companies emerged from Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with Enterprise Ireland support - a three-fold increase on the numbers achieved in 2008.
7,443 new jobs were created in Enterprise Ireland-supported companies, bringing the total number employed to 133,523. While there was an overall net decline of 19,078 in 2009, the investment pipeline for 2010 indicates that new jobs created will exceed 2009 figures, as client companies continue to invest in competitiveness improvement measures and achieve export sales. Based on this performance, Enterprise Ireland expects that its client companies will generate 60,000 new jobs between now and the end of 2015.
Welcoming the publication of the Report, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD, said:
"Last year was very challenging for the international and domestic economies but the results outlined in Enterprise Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts 2009 show a resilient performance by Ireland's indigenous exporting firms. The Enterprise Stabilisation Fund and the Employment Subsidy Scheme were vital in supporting companies secure their business and retain workers.
"As Ireland emerges from recession and business activity in our main trading partners recovers, these firms can build on the base they maintained over difficult times and focus on further growth. These firms already have a significant economic impact in every region of Ireland. We estimate that these firms, and other Enterprise Ireland-supported start-ups, can between them generate 60,000 jobs over the next five years.
"A key priority for Government is to continue to deliver on the Smart Economy Framework and implement the recommendations of the Innovation Task Force. We will support the continued growth of entrepreneurial-led firms that will underpin Ireland's global reputation as a centre for innovation providing high-value, sustainable jobs."
Commenting on the Report, Hugh Cooney, Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Ireland said:
"We should take great encouragement from what client companies achieved against the odds in 2009 and from the innovative and determined measures they took to secure their business and position themselves for their next cycle of growth. There were many indicators of resilience and economic vitality from our clients, and a resurgence in economic confidence, including the number of new high potential start ups and investments in R&D, which exceeded expectations.
"2010 is still challenging but that does not have to be a deterrent. Driving export-led growth and supporting client companies in every way possible to achieve global success are at the core of Enterprise Ireland's strategy for 2010 and beyond. It is about being proactive and helping position companies to seize the export opportunities that the recovery in major economies is presenting."
Frank Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland said:
"Our ambition for our client companies is high. So also is our confidence in them. They have overcome difficult challenges in the past 18 months, demonstrated exceptional resilience and in many cases they have come through stronger, leaner, fitter, more innovative, and definitely ready to capitalise on the global recovery now in evidence.
"In 2009 we focused on building business stability. 2010 is about building for growth and global success. Enterprise Ireland is driving and supporting a high level of activity across key business areas - developing new markets, growing more entrepreneur-led businesses, co-financing company R&D, driving the commercialisation of third level research for the benefit of industry. Resources and efforts in these key areas are being intensified to support our clients in every way possible to ensure they capitalise on the global recovery."
Additional background material on Enterprise Ireland 2009 activities and 2010 focus:
" Enterprise Ireland's client companies continue to face significant challenges, and its priority is on supporting them in every way possible to get beyond these challenges. Organisation and company supports have been adapted significantly to ensure that all resources are used to maximise new exports and deliver export-led employment.
" In 2009, the focus was on helping companies consolidate and secure new sales in existing markets, expand in the Eurozone and explore new business opportunities in key high-growth markets. This year, Enterprise Ireland will increase the focus on the specific growth sectors of software, internationally traded services, life sciences and cleantech, and on specific markets - UK, USA, Eurozone and the high-growth markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and the Gulf.
" In 2009 Enterprise Ireland collaborated with banks in Ireland and overseas to improve the access of its clients to loan finance. In particular, the priority was on improving the focus, knowledge and capability of the main banks in working with exporting SMEs and with technology companies. Towards this end, Enterprise Ireland engaged in a range of knowledge-sharing activities with the banks, including secondments.
" Enterprise Ireland partners with seed and venture capital funds to provide equity finance to Irish companies. In 2009, a €26m Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund was launched and an additional €23m was invested in the AIB Seed Fund to bring its total value to €53m.
" In addition, in 2009 Enterprise Ireland established the Halo Business Angel Investor Programme in a joint venture with InterTrade Ireland to develop and foster the growth of private equity and business angel activity in Ireland. All this activity was underpinned by enhanced co-operation with the main banks. These efforts are being continued through 2010 to get the essential flow of capital moving to drive investment and expansion in client companies.
" Promoting company R&D, innovation and the commercialisation of research in the third level sector are at the core of the Government's Smart Economy Framework. Enterprise Ireland client companies' commitment to R&D is stronger than ever as evidenced by the numbers of companies supported across all sectors in their R&D initiatives.
Likewise in the third level sector, Enterprise Ireland is committed to continuing to drive and support the commercialisation of research to deliver innovative technologies, products and processes. Innovation activity across both industry and the third level sectors are critical elements in delivering competitive advantage in the Irish economy.
For Enterprise Ireland the priority for 2010 is to continue to drive new exports and export-led employment. The organisation's energies and supports are committed to the full to support this. 2009 was tough, but client companies worked very hard to come through difficult conditions. Enterprise Ireland's resolve is unstinting in supporting them grow through 2010 and beyond.
For further information contact:
Ciara O'Mahony, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland+353 87 2043435
Eileen Banks, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland +353 87 2445814