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Recovery evident in Irish Geoscience Sector following effects of Covid-19

Posted on 26 August 2020

Recovery evident in Irish Geoscience Sector following effects of Covid-19
  • Geoscience Ireland business network financial survey results
  • Strong Turnover of €1.23Bn for 2019
  • Lower net job gains in the first half of 2020 due to COVID-19.

Geoscience Ireland (GI), the business network of 40 companies operating in over 70 countries and supported by Geological Survey Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, today reports its financial survey results for 2019 and job numbers for the first half (H1) of 2020.

Turnover of all GI companies for 2019 reached a record €1.23 Bn, an increase of 20% on 2018. The SME sector accounted for 27% of turnover at €362M; earnings from markets outside Ireland reached €496M, an increase of 4% over 2018.

The effects of COVID-19 are evident in the job numbers reported for the first six months of 2020 as only a modest net increase of 51 in jobs was noted. Job losses were most evident in consultancies and manufacturers unable to service overseas projects.  While 50% of members availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme initially, only 5% are now availing of the scheme. The effects of public health restrictions due to COVID-19 on GI members were initially severe, but have lessened since mid-May as construction and infrastructure development activity have resumed across most markets.

Sharp reductions in infrastructure development following the last recession are still affecting the economy and GI welcomes the commitment in the Programme for Government to maintain spending on essential infrastructure. It is also encouraging to note that EU and International Financial Instructions have also committed to significant infrastructure projects.

The main inhibitor to recovery for GI members is the difficulty for personnel to travel to and from overseas destinations to provide project support and supervision. Another major concern for GI members is that infrastructure spending planned by the Government of Ireland will be reduced by COVID-19.

Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey Ireland commented: “The continued growth and development of the Geoscience Ireland business cluster is very welcome and compares well with the data recently published by Enterprise Ireland which also showed exports by its client companies growing by 15% last year.

Geoscience Ireland companies face the challenges of continued uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and BREXIT. Geological Survey Ireland will continue to support the Geoscience Ireland initiative, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation.”


For further information contact Sean Finlay, Geoscience Ireland,  087 2575017, sean.finlay@gsi.ie