Tuesday 20 March 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

* Manufacturing growth in Ireland has slowed to a two and a half year low, with output, new orders and employment all posting weaker growth, while Brexit uncertainty drags down the sector in Britain.

The sluggishness here is particularly acute in the crucial export sector, according to the latest Purchasing Managers' Index for the sector, with firms warning that there could be further volatility ahead of Britain's EU referendum in June.

* Three landbanks in Cork will go on the market today, in one of the biggest sales of development land outside Dublin in recent years.

"The Treasure Collection" is expected to fetch between €25m and €30m. The sale is being handled by Savills' Denis O'Donoghue and Peter O'Meara. Bids are due by June 8.

* Shares in Anglo-Irish exploration firm Tullow Oil fell by as much as 12pc yesterday as both Goldman Sachs and Macquarie downgraded their ratings of the company.

The fall comes off the back of a period of strong growth for the Irish and London-listed firm. Goldman Sachs downgraded Tullow to a neutral rating from buy, citing risks associated with planned expenditure in Africa.

The Irish Times

* Irish-based Lakeland Dairies has bought a Northern Irish co-op for an undisclosed sum that will allow the Cavan firm to process around 1.1 billion litres of milk a year.

Following the acquisition Lakeland has now become Ireland's third biggest milk firm behind Kilkenny-based Glanbia and fellow dairy company Dairygold.

* Irish Distillers has entered into exclusive talks with New Orleans firm Sazerac for the sale of the world's fourth most popular brand of Irish whiskey, Paddy.

The firm did not disclose the value of the deal that would see the whiskey still being produced at the Midleton Distillery.

* New figures from the European Commission predict Ireland's economy to be the fastest growing in the EU.

The EU executive arm predicts the Irish economy to grow by 4.9pc this year, higher than the 4.5pc rate it predicted three months ago.

Irish Examiner

* Medical giant Pfizer has blown past analyst expectations in its latest quarterly results following a disappointing period for the firm that saw it scrap its proposed merger with Allergan.

The €140bn deal was allegedly primarily driven by a tax inversion that would see Pfizer avail of Ireland's low tax scheme.

* Shares in airline Lufthansa fell by as much as 7.1pc yesterday as the company said passenger fares as due to erode further this year.

The airline is undergoing a restructuring of its European operations aiming to stem the flow of customers to discounted rivals.

* Shares in Tullow Oil dropped by over 11pc on Tuesday after two major stockbrokers downgraded their ratings of the oil explorer.

Concerns around the firm's proposed capital expenditure on two pipelines in East Africa have been seen as causes for concern in relation to the company's free cash flow.

Online Editors

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