Thursday 27 October 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 28/10/2015 | 07:12

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning.

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Irish Independent

* Dunnes Stores saw the biggest gains in market share among big retailers in the 12 weeks to October 11, boosted by a "shop and save" campaign that rewards bigger-spending customers.

The value of the Irish grocery market has increased by 2.1pc since last year, the best performance since 2010, boosting a sector where competition has become fierce.

With consumer confidence up and the busy Halloween and Christmas periods now under way, the overall sales increase looks set to continue into year end.

* Shares in Apple shot up 3pc after market trading on the back of its announcement that sales increased by almost $10bn in the three months to the end of September.

Sales have increased by at least 20pc in each of the past four quarter-year financial reporting periods.

Apple's quarterly revenue rose 22.3pc in the three months to September as sales of iPhones jumped 36pc.

* Profits more than halved to just over €1m last year at the Irish arm of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, the world's third-biggest smartphone supplier by volume.

According to new accounts just filed, Huawei Technologies Ireland saw its profit for the year to the end of December 2014 fall from €3m in 2013 to €1.1m in 2014 while revenue dropped from €50m to €40.5m.

Although gross profits for the year increased from €7.6m to €9.2m, a near two-fold increase in "other operating expenses" from about €4m to €8m reduced operating profits from €3.5m in 2013 to €1.3m in 2014.

The Irish Times

* Irish interest rates could fall again due to international concerns over growth. There is an expectation the central banks are going to have to do more to stimulate growth.

The European Central Bank is expected to increase its quantitative easing programme in December while the US Federal Reserve is due to announce that interest rates will remain low today.

President of the ECB, Mario Draghi, said last week that the ECB would re-examine its policy stance before the end of the year.

* A High Court decision that will overturn planning permission for Bord na Móna's Edenderry plant will be a serious setback for the company and may hold possible implications for the company's other midlands plants.

The decision will put up to 180 jobs at risk, while the unions are saying that the company must not seek compulsory reduncancies.

An Taisce challenged a decision made by An Bord Pleanála to uphold planning permission of the plant in question.

* Mainstream Renewable Power will spend $600m (€544m) in new wind farms in Chile as part of a joint venture after winning a substantial state contract.

Another company, Aela Energía, which Eddie O'Connor has a 40pc stake in, also won the right to develop and operate 265MW of wind capacity.

MRP provides expertise for Aela, who has a fund of $400m set aside for Chilean projects. Aela will look to build about 600MW of renewable energy.

Irish Examiner

* The UK's economic growth slowed in the three month period that ended in September following a fall in construction. The figures may spell the end of a prosperous two years for the British economy which was growing at a rapid rate.

Britain's economy grew by 0.5pc which is a decent rate of growth but it is still off the 0.7pc growth seen in the second quarter of the year and it's also lower than what economists had expected for this quarter.

Economists have seen the figures as a slowdown rather that a contraction that is linked to China's stock market.

* Profits at Chris O'Dowd's UK production firm increased by 275pc this year as it registered £354,699 (€491,493) in accumulated profits.

O'Dowd's company, Hot Cod Productions, is one of the firms behind the hugely successful Sky 1 hit, Moone Boy.

The cash pile at Hot Cod also rose from £104,301 to £148,931.

* Ireland has been ranked eight out of 35 countries when it comes to the attractiveness of EU capitals for both start-ups and companies looking to scale.

According to a new index, generated by the European Digital Forum, Dublin ranked 33rd out of 35 countries and also remained near the bottom when it came to the availability of fibre-power broadband.

However, Dublin proved better in other areas like risk-taking, where it was ranked third out of all cities evaluated.

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