Business Irish

Thursday 19 April 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent:

***Commuters face the prospect of widespread travel chaos as train drivers consider launching a second wave of strike action at Irish Rail.

Trade union figures have warned the semi-state company that an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions may result in a series of work stoppages in the autumn, affecting both Dart and other train services.

A “deep sense of malaise” among train drivers in response to pay cuts, as well as demands for increased productivity, are among the factors underpinning the latest dispute.

***A sale of the Avoca retail and restaurant chain has moved a step closer, with the company now in exclusive negotiations to sell the business, the Irish Independent has learned.

The business has 11 outlets in Ireland, including one on Belfast, and had been in discussions with a number of potential buyers.

“I can confirm that we are in an exclusive period of negotiation with a potential purchaser but would not like to comment further,” Avoca chief executive Simon Pratt told the Irish Independent.

***The entry of a new mobile phone player will spark a price war that could see consumers saving hundreds of euro.

Carphone Warehouse, which has 90 stores in Ireland,  is set to launch its own operator ID Mobile here in the coming weeks.

The new operator will be up to €166 a year cheaper than rivals for those on bill-pay, according to mobile phone comparison app


Irish Times:

***Revenue is targeting thousands of taxpayers who may have undervalued their homes for property tax returns, the Irish Times reports.

According to the newspaper, the organisation is looking at those who valued their properties at a far lower price than guidance valuations available when the tax was introduced in May 2013.

Almost 250,000 homeowners valued their properties at more than €100,000 below the guidance values used by Revenue, which is now comparing the value of people’s houses to check any that are out of line with their neighbours.

***Businesses outside of Ireland have received letters claiming to be from the Irish Collector General requesting that they pay VAT under new EU rules for goods sold online.

According to the Irish Times the letters, which say they are from Michael Gladney’s office in Limerick, are seeking “VAT Moss” payments to a particular account and also give details of penalties for late payments.

However the banking details provided do not supply the international bank account number stipulated when put into the bank’s online Iban calculator. Revenue would not comment but said that it would look into the matter.

***The former owners of Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel spent €2m to cancel the hotel’s contract with the Four Seasons group last year, the Irish Times reports.

According to new accounts for the business it had sales of €20.8m in the year to the end of September 2014 compared to €17.7m in the 11 months to the same date in 2013.

The business made a pre-tax loss of €1.87m after the payment to Four Seasons was taken into account. The hotel was recently bought a consortium backed by US billionaire John Malone.


Irish Examiner:

***Owners of small businesses have no faith that criminals who target their companies will be held accountable, according to a new survey.

Almost one third of businesses who were polled by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association said that they were dissatisfied with the Garda response when they reported being the victim of a crime.

The study found that 36pc of business had been the victims of crime in the past year and said that the average cost to a company was just over €14,000. It also found the total cost of crime to Irish SMEs was €1.62bn.

***The economic recovery is largely being driven by 40pc of firms in services and manufacturing despite the fact that more than 80pc of companies are in a stable or growth period, according to a new survey.

In its latest quarterly business monitor cross-border business development agency InterTrade Ireland found that the number of companies who are in a stable or growth phase was at 83pc compared to 88pc in the first quarter of the year.

The study found that three quarters of moderate-to-rapid growth companies have introduced new products or services over the past three years.

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