Friday 20 April 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

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

Irish Independent

* Martin Naughton is to step down as president of Glen Dimplex, and will be replaced by group chief executive Sean O'Driscoll as part of a sweeping reorganisation at the top of the appliance and heater maker.

In a statement last night, Mr Naughton said he would leave the board of the company he founded more than 40 years ago, and hand the reigns to his long-time CEO.

Fergal Naughton succeeds Mr O'Driscoll as chief executive and Michael Maher becomes chief operating officer.

* Irish packaging giant Ardagh has agreed to pay $3.4bn (€3bn) for assets being sold by rivals Rexam and Ball in what will be its biggest acquisition ever and arguably its most transformative.

It's also likely the biggest acquisition ever by a private Irish business, and will make Ardagh the third-largest beverage can maker in the world.

It comes just months after Ardagh pulled a planned €2bn stockmarket flotation of its own metal containers division, which would have been spun off into a company called Oressa.

* Businesses here are the most likely in Europe to avoid applying for loans because they believe their application will be rejected.

"Fear of rejection" is a factor in discouraging borrowing by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the European Union, according to a study of 6,287 businesses.

Non-application for fear of rejection was: Ireland 44pc; Germany 24pc; Greece 19pc; Belgium 18pc; Austria 17pc; and Spain 17pc, the study found.

The Irish Times

* The Department of Finance predicts the next government may have up to €200m extra to spend on the likes of tax cuts and increases public spending.

According to a report in The Irish Times, increased economic growth, as well as enlarged tax returns boosted the cash available to the next government up to over €700m.

However, the extra spending power may be needed to address the fallout of a British exit from the EU.

* High-earning professionals that are committing tax evasion are now falling into the sights of the Revenue, which is looking to clam down on the "shadow economy".

According to a report in The Irish Times, Revenue is considering using third-party data to help detect tax evasion.

The clampdown comes after 11.5 million documents were leaked in the form of the Panama Papers.

* An Irish MEP has called for the next government to make it easier for consumers to switch mortgages in order to protect them from high variable interest rates.

Brian Hayes is looking for Ireland to adopt a switching system similar to that of Italy, whereby consumers can change mortgage without any cost to the borrower.

Mr Hayes also argued that the European Commission should introduce cross-border mortgage lending also.

Irish Examiner

* The board of Irish oil and gas firm Petroneft has reached a resolution with its biggest shareholders Natlata Partners that will see three members leave the board.

Natlata, which is headed up by Russian businessman Maxim Korobov, wanted significant changes made to the make up of the board to make it more independent.

Petroneft's management will stay in place, which was key to  its recent joint-venture deal with Oil India.

* The Irish arm of fashion retailer Karen Millen narrowed its losses sharply last year to €100,000 as it emerged from Examinership.

New figures show that Karen Millen Ireland Ltd slashed pre-tax losses from €300,000 to €100,000 as revenues dipped from €6.4m to €6.3m in the 12 months to the end of February 28 last year.

Sales at the firm have tumbled over the past number of years from the €10.8m enjoyed in fiscal 2011.

* The probe into Ireland and the tax deal it allegedly struck with Apple may ramble on until the end of the year according to a leading economist.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner, University College Cork economist Seamus Coffey said the probe is due to continue long into 2016.

The news comes as Apple prepares to release its full-year results, which are likely to show a slowdown in sales of its flagship product, the iPhone.

Online Editors

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business