Wednesday 26 October 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 05/08/2015 | 06:56

HERE are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

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Irish Independent:

***The rise in the number of homes being built is actually being driven by one-off houses outside of main urban centres.

Official figures show that 5,625 houses and apartments have been completed so far this year – up 16pc on the same period of 2014.

Despite this apparent surge, construction activity is happening in the wrong areas, and the number of homes being built is still way below that needed to meet demand.

***The metals unit of Ardagh, the packaging giant controlled by Dubliner Paul Coulson, could be worth as much as €2.5bn when it hits the stock market this year.

Higher earning have boosted the metal unit’s prospects ahead of a listing debut.

Second-quarter results released by Ardagh yesterday show that earnings before deductions at the metals division of the global packaging firm rose 36pc year-on-year to €80m in the period. On a constant currency basis, they were 33pc higher.

***A tiny margin now separates the country’s two biggest grocery retailers, with new figures confirming that Tesco has just about managed to hold on to its top spot over SuperValu.

New figures from the research group Kantar Worldpanel show that the German discounters have continued to lure shoppers. Lidl now has a 9pc share of the Irish market – a record for the group.

Tesco’s share slipped to 24.9pc in the 12 weeks to July 19, while SuperValu’s edged slightly lower to 24.3pc.

Irish times:

***The Irish holiday home market is continuing to remain strong despite recent poor weather, the Irish Times reports.

According to the newspaper estate agents across the country are reporting an increase in activity, with areas close to Dublin performing particularly well.

Catherine O’Reilly of Sherry Fitzgerald in Wicklow town says that business is much improved this year with prices increasing by about 18-20pc.

***US-Swedish pharma company Cortendo is the latest drug firm to propose a move to Ireland for tax purposes, the Irish Times reports.

The company, which operates in Pennsylvania but is incorporated in Sweden, has submitted a proposal to the Central Bank with flagging its intention to create a Dublin-based public limited company.

Cortendo said that this new firm would become the parent company of the group and told shareholders that the move to Ireland will “have the effect of facilitating tax-efficient returns of capital to shareholders”.

***London-based private equity firm Capvest has lined up bank funding for its €280m bid for Irish investments company One51, the Irish Times reports.

Capvest is understood to have already approached One51 last February. Its takeover approach of €1.80 a share has already been discussed with major shareholders.

The UK-based firm has offered shareholders the option of retaining an equity stake in the company, although it is likely that it would want more than half of the available shares if it were to proceed with a bid.

Irish Examiner:

***Sales of new cars topped 100,000 for the first time since 2008, the Irish Examiner reports.

Car sales in the first seven months of the year have now outsripped the total amount sold in the whole of 2014. The exchequer has taken in about €761m from new and used car sales since the start of the year.

Figures from the Society of Irish Motor Industry and Donedeal show that ‘152’ registrations were up by almost 50pc for July compared to ‘142’ registrations in the same month last year.

***Cork airport should aim to become a global aircraft leasing hub, according to European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy.

It was announced last week that UK-based Weston Aviation is to open a new aviation centre at the airport. The firm will provide the first hangar services for executive aircrafts at the airport.

Following the deal with Weston Mr Murphy says that other revenue streams should be explored, adding that he would “encourage the development of a strategy to attract air finance companies”.

***CRH’s recently completed acquisition of €6.5bn worth of assets from industry giant LafargeHolcim could increase earnings at Ireland’s biggest company by more than 30pc over the next year, it has been claimed.

In a note yesterday Robert Gardiner of Davy Stockbroker’s said: “We see the deal as a transformational acquisition which could be about 34pc accretive to earnings in its first full year”.

France’s Lafarge and Holcim of Switzerland merged last month but had to shed assets to satisfy market competition authorities. CRH agreed a deal with them back in February which now makes the group the world’s third-biggest building materials supplier.

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