Saturday 1 October 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 09/03/2016 | 06:51

Here are the main business stories from today's papers:

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Irish Independent

* Petroceltic's examinership could pave the way for more battered explorers to use the insolvency process here survive the oil crash.

The High Court appointed Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as interim examiner to troubled exploration company Petroceltic and two related companies yesterday.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern made the appointment on the application of the company itself and of a minority shareholder, Worldview.

* Woodies DIY owner Grafton Group generated record revenues of £2.2bn (€2.8bn) last year as its UK operations performed well and it benefited from a continuing improvement in the Irish economy.

Its trading profit rose 15pc to £126.8m (€163.6m).

At its Irish merchanting businesses, which operates under the Chadwicks and Heiton Buckley brands, revenue was 10.9pc higher at €354.5m, while operating profits jumped 25.7pc to €25.6m.

* The Office of Public Works (OPW) is set to take over Bank of Ireland's former headquarters in one of the biggest office lettings of the year.

It has signed terms to take more than 150,000 sq ft of space at the Miesian Plaza as the office complex is now known.

The block is owned businessman Larry Goodman.

The Irish Times

* The Department of Health may move into Bank of Ireland's former HQ on Lower Baggot Street after it was revealed that the Office of Public Works was in discussions with complex owners, Parma Developments.

The department has been based in Hawkins House on Poolbeg Street for years now and is said to be looking to move to a space up to 150,000 sq ft.

Bank of Ireland's former HQ is currently being remodelled and redeveloped.

* The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to troubled oil and gas explorer, Petroceltic.

Michael McAteer of Grant Thronton was appointed to the position by Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday, Tuesday.

The news comes after Petroceltic shareholder Worldview put forward a petition to the High Court for an examiner to be appointed on Friday.

* Paddy Power Betfair is set to launch in the US by opening up a betting exchange in New Jersey in what is the first major expansion from the firm since it merged in February.

The company told shareholders about the expansion after the publication of its annual results for 2015.

Over the course of the year Paddy Power took in net revenues of in excess of €1bn for the first time.

Irish Examiner

* The McKenna family, which own electric and electronic retailer Power City, shared a €3m dividend windfall last year.

That is according to new accounts just filed by Power City Ltd which show that pre-tax profits at the firm last year increased by 20pc to €6.2m.

Revenues rose by 9.5pc to €81.8m in the 12 months to the end of September 26 last. Numbers employed increased from 208 to 232.

* Grafton Group, the company that owns Woodie's DIY, posted a record £2.21bn in revenue last year after the company published its annual results on Tuesday.

The London-listed group reported a pre-tax profit of £118.9m for last year off the back of continuing growth in its UK merchanting business.

Operating profit at the group's Irish business increased by 13.2pc to in excess of £18.5m.

* Powerflute, the Irish-founded packaging firm chaired by Dermot Smurfit, is looking at further acquisition opportunities after a successful 2015.

The company acquired cardboard maker Corenso in December 2014 and it proved to be a "transformational" deal for the firm.

The company reported a 138pc increase in its annual revenues in 2015.

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