Tuesday 20 March 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

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

Irish Independent

* Hotel group Dalata is looking to cement its presence in the capital, with plans to build a four-star, 181-bedroom hotel close to Dublin city centre.

The company, headed by chief executive Pat McCann, has agreed to pay €11.9m for a site previously occupied by the Charlemont Clinic on the Grand Canal.

Dalata expects the total investment in the hotel project, including the site acquisition, to hit €40m.

* UK property group Hammerson expects to finalise its acquisition of 50pc of Dundrum Town Centre by the summer and continues to see the potential for a landmark of "international importance" in the heart of the capital.

It's also eyeing a mixed-use development beside the Dundrum Town Centre, rather than the retail-only extension for which planning permission was previously granted.

A deal last year with Nama saw Hammerson and the property arm of German insurance giant Allianz agree to pay a total of €1.85bn to buy €2.6bn worth of loans attached to Dundrum, the Pavilions Shopping Centre in Swords, Co Dublin, as well as the Ilac Centre in the city centre.

* SuperValu has managed to retain the coveted title of being the country's biggest grocery retailer, beating Tesco and a resurgent Dunnes Stores to the top spot.

SuperValu, the brand that's controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group, has now held pole position since November last year, having first nabbed the title earlier in 2015.

Figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel show that SuperValu had a 25pc share of the multi-billion euro grocery market here during the 12 weeks to January 31, which included the all-important Christmas retail period.

The Irish Times

* Thousands of Irish investors could automatically enter into an investment with US telecoms firm, Horizon, with the deadline for selling shares in the firm nears.

Around 200,000 investors Irish investors have shares in the firm, with a large majority of them holding 10 shares or less.

Investors received the shares after Vodafone sold its US business to Horizon two years ago.

* APC, the Irish pharmaceutical company, and Swissport, the ground handling services firm at Dublin Airport, have announced the creation of 300 new jobs.

APC opened its new headquarters in Cherrywood on Monday and announced the creation of 100 new jobs. The 6,000 sq m premises, located in south County Dublin, is part of the firm’s plans to double its workforce in order to meet client demand.

APC, which was founded by then UCD student and professor pair, Mark Barrett and Brian Glennon, helps global clients accelerate the development of medicines for conditions including HIV and cancer.

* The sale of the Charlemont Clinic site by U+I has brought the firm's accumulated profit over a 14-month period up to €4.8m.

The Dublin 2 site was acquired by Dalata for €11.9m with the firm intending to build a Clayton Hotel on it.

The site is along Dublin's Grand Canal and is expected to be a popular choice for commercial clients.

Irish Examiner

* A delayed vote on a British exit from the EU could slow an Irish exports drive, leading economists have said.

According to the economists, a delayed vote would lead to a longer period of uncertainty surrounding the sterling, which would take the shine of Ireland's export numbers.

In 2015, trade figures were very strong, representing what is becoming something of a 'golden era' for Irish exporters.

* Global outsourcing firm, Voxpro, is looking at the possibility of an initial public offering after it announced its intention to open three new bases across Europe and North America.

The firm, headed up by Dan and Linda Kiely, plans to continue to scale its operations globally as it aims to tackle growing demand for its services.

Under the expansion the firm will look to open a sales and marketing hub in New York over the coming months.

* SuperValu has maintained its spot as Ireland's number one retailer, fending off stiff competition from its two closest rivals.

SuperValu has a quarter of the entire Irish market share after 4.4pc growth in sales, which outpaced the industry average last year.

SuperValu remained on top despite Dunnes Stores taking the strongest sales growth, up 5.1pc.

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