Boost predicted for Dublin hotel sector
THE Dublin hotel industry will grow in 2011 and 2012, according to a new report from PWC. In a comparison with 17 major cities, Dublin is expected to show second highest growth rate in Europe this year.
It's the latest good news for a sector that was massively hit by falling sales from 2007 onwards. The PWC data shows signs of a significant rebound in profitability. It comes after the Central Statistics Office noted a 15pc rise in visitor numbers in the first half of this year.
United Drug sells stake in UK venture
SHARES in United Drug closed up 1.6pc last night after the company sold its stake in a UK joint venture. Shares ended the session at €2.439 each, after hitting a high of €2.45 earlier in the day, just after the deal was announced. United Drug is selling its stake in a business it set up in partnership with US-based Medco in 2009. The UK-based joint venture provides home-based care, such as help with drug delivery, to patients suffering from chronic illnesses.
Moody's confirms ESB's downgrade
RATING agency Moody's has confirmed the ESB's Baa3 rating, though the outlook remains negative. The rating has been under review since April, after Moody's downgraded Irish government debt. That downgrade has not hurt the ESB however, with Moody's saying the ESB could keep trading without any problems even if it was locked out of the financial markets until 2014. Moody's said there had been a significant improvement in ESB's liquidity position after it refinanced its short-term debt. It also welcomed a plan by the ESB to defer major spending on infrastructure over 2012 and 2013 in order to hold on to cash.
Citigroup says profit rose by 74pc
Citigroup, the third-biggest US bank, said profit rose 74pc, beating analysts' estimates on a $1.9bn accounting gain and a reduction in losses tied to soured loans. Net income for the third quarter was $3.77bn, or $1.23 a share, compared with $2.17bn, or 72 cents, in the same period a year earlier, the New York-based bank said yesterday. The average estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 82 cents. Excluding the accounting benefit, earnings per share were 84 cents.