Trade through Belfast down 4pc
Overall trade at Belfast Port was down more than 4pc in 2009 -- but the island's second-largest port facility fared better than either Dublin or Cork amid the downturn. Passenger numbers were up 3pc, while petrol and diesel imports were up significantly as the trend of filling up vehicles in the Republic waned due to weak sterling.
Arnotts doubles sales on website
RETAILER Arnotts doubled sales via its website during 2009, attracting one million unique online visitors last year. Developed by Buy4Now, the website has lured traffic from Ireland and abroad. Arnotts said it intended to make more products available over the website in coming months, particularly from its fashion lines.
Carluccio's outlet makes UK top 10
THE Dublin franchise of British-owned Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's achieved turnover levels that would rank it among the top 10 of the company's 43 UK outlets, the AIM-listed group said yesterday in a trading statement to coincide with its AGM. The Dublin outlet, which employs 60 people, closed this week after it failed to negotiate lower rent for its premises on Dawson Street. The franchise in the capital is controlled by investors, including former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Peter Murray and chairman of Irish Food Processors, Ron Bolger. Carluccio's pays €680,000 in annual rent for the Dublin premises
Pain in Spain as recession endures
Official figures show that the Spanish economy remained stuck in recession in the fourth quarter of 2009. The country's central bank said its economy shrank 0.1pc from the previous three months, contracting by 3.6pc in 2009 as a whole. The bank, in its January monthly report, described last year's decline as "the sharpest in recent decades".
Gold futures hit a three-month low