Thursday 22 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

* Dublin-based airline CityJet has been sold by German owners Intro Aviation to founder Pat Byrne and a group of investors.

And in an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Byrne said that CityJet is likely to pursue a stock market flotation in two to three years' time, as he predicted a reversal of fortunes for the carrier.

Mr Byrne declined to reveal precisely who his new co-owners in the airline are, or what price was paid to Intro Aviation, which had bought loss-making CityJet from Air France-KLM in 2014 for virtually nothing.

* Almost one in three small businesses feel they haven't benefited from the economic recovery.

And three-quarters of those surveyed said the tax treatment of the self-employed is unfair.

The survey of 500 small businesses by Big Red Cloud found that just 8pc said they had seen a significant upsurge in business as a result of the recovery.

* Executive director pay at packaging giant Smurfit Kappa totalled €10m last year, as Tony Smurfit took over the helm of the company from Gary McGann.

The company's annual report, published yesterday, shows that Mr Smurfit, who succeeded Mr McGann as chief executive last September, was paid a total of €1.5m in 2015, with an additional total benefit of €1.8m under the group's long-term incentive plan (LTIP).

That total of €3.3m compared to the total €4.9m Mr Smurfit was paid in 2014. Mr Smurfit also announced his retirement, effective yesterday, from the board of drinks maker C&C.

The Irish Times

* Following an investigation by the Central Bank last year, some 20 retail investment intermediaries are facing proceedings that may include the revocation of their licenses.

According to a report in The Irish Times the Central Bank found that 325 brokers did not meet its minimum mandatory reporting obligations.

The report says that 171 of those 325 are now compliant, while another 134 have sought voluntary revocation of their authorisation.

* Glanbia chief executive Siobhán Talbot saw her overall renumeration rise by 16pc last year to almost €1.9m.

Ms Talbot's renumeration package breaks down into a basic salary of €750,000, a bonus of €563,000, and a pension contribution of €199,000.

The group's finance director Mark Garvey received a total pay packet of €984,000, up 18pc.

* National newspaper revenue increased by 5.5pc last year up to €164.5m according to new figures from NewsBrands Ireland.

The figures, which cover both print and digital editions, showed the first annual increase in revenue since 2007.

Spending by advertising agencies also increased by 8pc to €98.4m.

Irish Examiner

* Operating profits at luxury handbag maker Hermes increased by 19pc last year despite the November attacks in Paris, which dented sales in its home market.

The company filed an operating profit of €1.54bn, which was ahead of analysts predictions of €1.54bn.

The firm's profit margin also increased to 31.8pc.

* Pre-tax profits at the firm that operates Northern Ireland's most popular visitor attraction fell by 31pc to £800,697 (€1m) last year.

New accounts filed by Titanic Belfast Ltd show that the firm sustained the drop in pre-tax profits in spite of revenues increasing by 7pc to £11.66m (€14.7m).

The directors' report states that in the year under review to the end of March last, the centre attracted "an impressive" 625,000 visitors.

* Paddy Power-Betfair has said it has no immediate plans to fill the role being vacated by outgoing chief operating officer,  Andy McCue.

The role is due to be subsumed by the recently-merged group's chief executive, Breon Corcoran.

Mr McCue had been with Paddy Power since 2006 and took over as the firm's chief executive Patrick Kennedy.

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