Business Irish

Friday 22 November 2019

Business week in 60 seconds

Storms batter FBD 2014 profits as shares nosedive

STORMY WEATHER: Ireland's worst storms in early 2014 hit insurers' profits
STORMY WEATHER: Ireland's worst storms in early 2014 hit insurers' profits

Paul O'Donoghue

Ireland's worst storms in 15 years wreaked havoc on the west of Ireland when they struck in early 2014, so much so that their effects are still being felt.

Insurance firm FBD saw its profits for last year plunge, haemorrhaging a loss of €4.76m compared to a pre-tax profit of €52.67m in 2013. The markets reacted badly, with shares dropping by as much as 14pc in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.

Chief executive Andrew Langford said that he was not blaming the weather, but even he had to admit that it was a contributing factor to a disappointing series of results.

Stop scapegoating property developers, says Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is anxious for the public to forgive and forget, saying that it is time to stop "scapegoating" property developers for the economic collapse.

Noonan attended a behind-closed-doors meeting with developers, bankers and investment firms during the week, where they discussed new ways of financing construction,

It was attended by high-profile Celtic Tiger developers like Johnny Ronan and Michael O'Flynn. Minister Noonan said he's willing to work with "reputable builders".

QE to drive Irish borrowing costs as low as France

Ireland's borrowing costs are being tipped to fall as low as those for France and Belgium as the EU prepares to embark on a massive QE programme.

Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland trader Ryan McGrath said it's a matter of "when, not if" Ireland's borrowing costs fall further to extend record lows.

The euro fell to a decade-long low on the back of the announcement that the ECB is about to start its €1.1 trillion stimulus package.

Mega payout for Paddy Power after record results

Shareholders in Paddy Power are set to reap the rewards of one of the company's biggest ever paydays as the bookie announced a €392m dividend.

Shares in the firm rocketed on the back of strong results which saw the bookies post its best-ever profit of €167m in 2014.

The company is proposing to pay a final dividend of 102 cent a share, bringing its full-year payout to 152 cent, up 13pc in 2013.

All this, and Cheltenham still to come.

Aer Lingus union officials unconvinced by Walsh

'Will it ever end?' We hear you cry. More than likely IAG chief Willie Walsh is thinking the same thing as the proposed Aer Lingus deal rumbles on for another week.

Although the Government had appeared to be softening its stance on selling its 25pc stake in the airline, Labour passed a motion at last weekend's urging the coalition to reject the €1.36bn bid if key assurances over jobs and connectivity are not given.

To make matters worse for Mr Walsh, the unions at Aer Lingus remain unconvinced by the deal and the IAG top table promises of job creation. They said that the 90-minute meeting between the two parties was not enough to persuade them that the epic buyout should go ahead.

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