Brian O’Sullivan this week brought the packaging firm he founded in 1998 full circle as he opened Zeus’ new 70,000 sq ft logistics facility in Watergrasshill in Cork not far from where he grew up.
What began as a one-man operation from a shed in Co Clare has grown into Europe’s largest packaging firm employing 1,000 people worldwide.
The €14m facility off the M8 will act as a distribution hub from the Munster region and will create 40 new jobs over the next 18 months.
Once fully operational the Munster hub will accommodate 12,000 pallets of various products. O’Sullivan said that this year, the company expects to achieve €500m in revenues.
“This makes us the most significant private packaging company in Europe. We have 56 locations across 30 countries from Australia to New Zealand. North America and Europe. We now have 1,000 direct employees.”
Joined by his family yesterday to officially open the facility, O’Sullivan said the development would create valuable local employment and creates a local legacyZeus. “We are not just an Irish company, We are a Cork business and very proud of our roots. We want to see our success reflected in local jobs,” he said.
The Munster Regional Distribution Centre is part of Zeus’ national logistics and distribution strategy, with four facilities to be positioned throughout Ireland in Cork, Limerick, Dublin and Belfast. The commitment to Cork was further underpinned with a recent sponsorship deal with Cork City FC. Customers of Zeus range across sectors and include Kaufland, Lidl, Aldi, ABP, Harrods, Musgrave, Ryanair and McDonald’s.
In the past 12 months, Zeus added a further €75m of revenue through acquisition. It acquired Polpack in Poland in February of this year.
“I grew up in East Cork, and it’s where I started my working life. I am very proud to now be reinvesting back in my local roots, opening this new facility in Watergrasshill,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“This will greatly improve our capability within the region, create new jobs, deliver a better work-life balance for our colleagues and importantly, deliver greater service options to our customers.” Adrian Lannon, chief operations officer of Zeus, said the facility would allow optimised placement of stocks around the country.
“We also have plans for further investment in our Limerick operations, consolidating our JJ O’Toole, Limerick Packaging and Zeus Limerick business operations,” he said.
Officially opening the facility, Finance Minister Michael McGrath said Zeus was an inspirational example of a home-grown company scaling internationally.
“Having followed their global growth with interest, I am delighted to today open the new Watergrasshill logistics facility, which will provide a major boost for the local economy.”