Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages Business Desk Business Desk

Here's a look at what it says in this morning's business pages

Irish Independent

*Ryanair rival Wizz Air will eventually enter the Dublin market, but doesn't plan to engage in a frontal assault on the Irish airline just yet, according to founder and ceo Jozsef Varadi.

"You never say never," said Mr Varadi in an interview with the Irish Independent, on whether he will target Dublin. "But we have better opportunities than picking a dogfight with Ryanair."

*Book publishers saw double-digit sales growth in Ireland last year as print title sales continue to accelerate after years of decline.

Thanks to the success of titles such as Paul O'Connell's 'The Battle', book sales in Ireland hit €131m in 2016, the highest level of revenue recorded since 2011.

*AIB is tipped to pay a €285m dividend within months, its first since the crash. Almost all of the money will go to the State.

The money is in addition to an anticipated €3bn the State will raise by reducing its stake in the bank from more than 99.9pc through a stock market flotation.

*Slack, the "email killing" messaging service taking over US offices, expects to triple staff at its new Irish headquarters, according to founder and chief executive Stewart Butterfield.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Butterfield said that the Irish office would reach 180 employees this year.

*It's still 'too soon' for Ryanair to make any decisions about its presence in the UK following last June's Brexit vote, according to the airline's chief financial officer, Neil Sorahan.

But he said that despite announcing an expansion at Stansted Airport last week, Ryanair could reduce feed at some smaller airports in the UK or not grow as quickly there as it might otherwise have done.

*Farmers and small business owners will see the burden of high nursing home bills for elderly relatives reduced under sweeping changes to the Fair Deal scheme.

It is understood as much as 90pc of farm assets may be exempted in determining how much farmers are liable to pay towards nursing home costs.

Irish Times

*Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan arrived in Davos in a bid to secure Ireland’s position as a global investment location as the twin challenges of Brexit and potential changes to US tax policy present unprecedented challenges to Ireland’s economic model.

The Taoiseach is due to hold a series of bilateral meetings with senior figures in the banking, telecommunications and pharmaceutical worlds, including the chairman of Lloyd’s of London chief executive Inga Beale.

*The head of the Irish employers' group Ibec has predicted that the UK will not be able to strike a deal with the EU in light of the priorities laid out by Theresa May in her Brexit speech.

This opens up the prospect of the UK switching to World Trade Organisation tariffs, which would result in significant costs being incurred by Irish exporters.

*Current trends risk creating a bubble in aircraft values, an industry analyst warned at a conference in Dublin on Wednesday.

Adam Pilarski, senior vice-president of aviation consultancy Avitas, told the annual Global Airfinance Conference that his company’s view of the aircraft market was that it has yet to reach a peak.

*Ireland retained its position as the top European location for distressed loan sales for the fourth year in a row in 2016, driven by Nama’s ongoing wind-down and a large Ulster Bank portfolio sale, according to US investment bank Evercore.

US private equity firm Cerberus was the most active buyer of loans being disposed across Europe for a third straight year, fuelled by its purchase of assets from Nama, Ulster Bank and Permanet TSB.

Irish Examiner

*Enda Kenny is facing a growing backlash over claims he has “no plan” to cope with the escalating Brexit crisis and has “sat on his hands” as the situation unfolded.

Accusation by opposition parties was made as fears mount Ireland could become a makeweight in the EU’s battle with Britain.

*Darren McKinley, senior analyst at Merrion Capital, predicted that property stocks such as Green REIT and Hibernia REIT — whose shares in the past year have failed to spark — could benefit from the Brexit fallout if UK firms were to relocate their bases here.

The broker said Green REIT was its “preferred buy” as the property firm seeks to sell non-core asset sales which may lead to it paying out a special dividend.

*British pub group JD Wetherspoon said it remains hopeful it will be granted permission to open new bars at Abbey Street and Camden Street in Dublin, as well as developing two more sites in Carlow and Waterford.

A spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon told the Irish Examiner it was trading very well in the Republic, where it has five bars, four in suburban Dublin and one in Cork city centre.

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