Tuesday 27 September 2016

The Punt: Poultry firm gets backing

The Punt

Published 08/02/2016 | 02:30

'The economists joining the regulator will be expected to help set the maximum passenger charges that can be levied at Dublin Airport, and also set quality of service standards for passengers and monitoring compliance'. Photo: Mark Condren
'The economists joining the regulator will be expected to help set the maximum passenger charges that can be levied at Dublin Airport, and also set quality of service standards for passengers and monitoring compliance'. Photo: Mark Condren

The Punt sees that poultry firm Greene Farm Foods - which used to be just Green without the 'e' - has secured a €300,000 investment from Enterprise Ireland.

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It's a wedge of cash which will presumably be put to good use developing more products and targeting new markets.

Greene Farm Foods, based in Rathowen, Co Westmeath, is headed by Kenneth Greene. He had always worked on the family poultry farm and began his business career by selling chickens and turkeys to his classmates and their families.

In 1991, he formally set up the company and it has grown substantially since then. It now employs 160 people and supplies a number of retailers including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Londis and Spar.

The latest set of publicly available accounts show it generated €28.2m in turnover in the 12 months to June 2014, and made a €241,000 operating profit.

The company recently invested over €6m in extending its production facilities and an additional €1.3m in packaging machinery, making it one of the most modern food plants in Europe, apparently.

Greene is also planning to take on the UK market, and is edging towards a listing with a major retail chain in Denmark this year. The company is also in the process of securing approval to sell its products in the United Arab Emirates.

Orange quits as it loses fizz

Orange Capital, the US-based activist hedge fund that had criticised the strategy of Bulmers maker C&C, is calling it quits.

Ironically, the fund has failed to perform as expected after more than 10 years on the go. The $1bn it manages will be returned to investors.

"Our performance simply has not met our own high standards," the fund's co-founder, Daniel Lewis, said in a message to investors.

At one stage Orange Capital held a 4.9pc stake in C&C, and called on the Irish company last year to initiate a strategic review and to sell its troubled US operations.

"Credit investing through traditional, liquid hedge fund strategies will prove challenging for investors as the credit cycle turns. This includes our own hedge fund structure," added Lewis in his note.

Orange Capital had returned 12.1pc net of fees since 2005 to the end of 2013. But in the last couple of years it had faltered, generating negative returns that were below key indices.

High-flyers for Commission

You would think that the qualified (why would you hire someone who wasn't?) "high-achieving" individuals the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) is looking to hire might expect to be compensated pretty well, given the sales pitch for joining.

But the economists the CAR is hoping to hire can expect to start off on a salary that for a well-educated professional might be considered somewhat modest. The CAR points out that the permanent position starts off at €42,838, rising - by seven increments - to a maximum of €60,223.

"The successful candidate will be given the opportunity to become experts in regulation, financial analysis, policy formulation and implementation, communication and leadership," the CAR notes. The CAR regulates charges at Dublin Airport and undertakes other work too.

The economists joining the regulator will be expected to help set the maximum passenger charges that can be levied at Dublin Airport, and also set quality of service standards for passengers and monitoring compliance.

Candidates for the roles are expected to have a postgraduate degree in economics or a related field.

Irish Independent

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