Sunday 25 February 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

The front page of this morning's Irish Independent business section
The front page of this morning's Irish Independent business section
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

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

Irish Independent

*Several members of the IFA's full-time management executive are on basic salaries of more than €160,000 a year.

And at least one  former IFA  president received an exit  package as his term of office came to a close.

The latest revelations in the IFA saga comes as the review of the association's finances and salary structure is due to be published.

*One of the biggest meat processors on the island could be put up for sale as the business actively begins looking for new buyers.

Dunbia, the Co Tyrone beef, lamb and pork processor is one of Northern Ireland's biggest firms, turning over almost £800m (€1.1bn).

It's understood a teaser document has now been prepared, due to be sent out to businesses who may have an interest in snapping up the Dungannon-headquartered firm.

*The Irish arm of international professional services firm PwC has announced plans to hire 500 new staff in 2016.

This number is made up of 300 graduate positions and 200 posts for more senior staff who have full professional qualifications.

PwC managing partner Feargal O'Rourke told the newspaper that the company is firmly in growth mode and is likely to hire a similar number of staff again in 2017.

The Irish Times

*Oil fell close to financial-crisis levels as expectations of a persistent supply glut increased.

The continued pressure on prices comes with the US Federal Reserve poised to hike interest rates for the first time in almost ten years.

Cheap oil is a boon to US consumers but is hitting American shale drillers and their banks.

*Industry figures in Ireland believe motorists here are unlikely to enjoy the full benefits of the price drop, however.

That's because of heavy Governent taxes on petrol and diesel. Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch said the Government collects 90c from every litre of petrol sold.

*Consumer confidence here is continuing to improve steadily, according a bi-annual Deloitte survey.

The survey indicates consumers are becoming more savvy, using smartphones to research their purchases and manage their money.

It also shows confidence growing about disposable income, with 27pc saying they felt more confident - up eight percentage points on six months ago.

Irish Examiner

*Limerick-founded Circle Oil is eyeing up an equity raise to "right-size the balance sheet and ensure that the company has sufficient cash flows to fund operations".

It said it is also considering a debt restructuring, adding that talks to extend a loan facility with the International Finance Corporation hadn't progressed as quickly as it wanted.

*Some oil producers are already selling for as little as $22 a barrel.

In Western Canada, some are selling for less than that. The benchmarks -  prices of West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude - are in the $35 range, but they represent highly valued blends that are easier to refine.

Ehsan Ul-Haq, a senior consultant at KBC Advanced Technologies, said more than a third of global oil production is not economical at the prices being charged by some Canadian producers.

*Rich Middle-Eastern clients fuelled sales growth at well-known designer Louise Kennedy's business last year.

But Ms Kennedy, who counts Kylie Minogue and Beyonce among her clients, saw profit growth slow because of investment in the company's flagship London store. Ms Kennedy designed Mary Robinson's presidential inauguration outfit.

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