Xsil emerges as fastest-growing company in Ireland

23 Nov 2006

Dublin-based manufacturer of sophisticated silicon micro-machining equipment for the multi-billion euro semiconductor industry Xsil has emerged in No 1 position in this year’s Deloitte Fast 50 of Ireland’s high-growth companies.

In fact, telecoms and IT companies dominated this year’s ranking.

It is understood that Xsil achieved a staggering aggregate growth in revenue of 17,333pc in the past five years. It is the second time that Xsil has peaked in the Fast 50, having previously done so in 2003.

Xsil was founded in 2000 by serial entrepreneur Peter Conlon (pictured)and long-time colleague Pat Rainsford, who also run a digital television technology company called Emuse. In March 2001 Conlon and Rainsford sold another tech firm, optical manufacturing systems company MVT, to Hewlett-Packard spin-off Agilent Technologies for more than €100m. It now sells primarily into the semiconductor, opto-electronic and biomedical sectors.

Based in Dublin’s Trinity Enterprise Centre, Xsil employs over 150 people. It works closely with a number of research institutes, universities and laser manufacturers including Trinity College Dublin where some of the research underpinning its technology was carried out.

“What’s very encouraging about this year’s awards is that we are seeing strong performances from both new and previous entrants,” said Deloitte partner David O’Flanagan.

“This bodes well for our indigenous Irish companies and proves that Ireland is consolidating its position as a key player within the sector while simultaneously producing fresh and innovative new companies,” Flanagan said.

Second place in the prestigious awards was taken by broadband provider Digiweb, which grew an aggregate rate of 3,498pc over the past five years. The company was in third place last year.

Third place was taken by IT security company Espion, a first-time winner with an aggregate growth rate of 2,827pc.

Fourth and fifth place were taken by e-learning firm Pulselearning and mobile phone software firm Zamano, which in recent weeks floated on London’s AIM.

There were two winners in the Rising Stars category, which recognises younger companies with the fastest growth in turnover over the past three years. These were Carlow-based Netwatch and Northern Ireland firm Sensor Technology & Devices.

The awards took place last night in Dublin’s Mansion House.

By John Kennedy