Friday 23 March 2018

The Punt: Economy keeps motoring on

Gavin Hydes, Joe Duffy Motors
Gavin Hydes, Joe Duffy Motors

As a gauge of the economy there are few things as reliable as car sales. Despite the post-Brexit unsettlement, the trend appears to remain favourable.

Dublin-focused Joe Duffy Group is already one of the country's biggest motor groups, and is now set for further growth, with €20m of investment planned for the next three years.

Investment will begin this month with construction at Swords in Dublin.

The site will host a flagship Jaguar and Rover facility, as well as a Volvo and Kia dealership.

The Joe Duffy Group currently employs 410 staff and has increased its workforce by 50pc over the past three years.

Group turnover this year is set to hit almost €300m, group ceo, Gavin Hydes, inset, said.

"This investment strategy is another essential step in our growth plans for the Joe Duffy Group.

"We look forward to these new state-of-the-art dealerships which further demonstrates our commitment to our manufacturer partners, confidence in the industry and our strategy to provide first class facilities for our customers."

Medxnote gets EI funding

The Punt sees that Enterprise Ireland has invested €122,000 into Irish tech firm Medxnote.

The company was founded by radiographer Niall Rafferty, and developed a secure messaging app for use by hospital staff.

The app eliminates the need for clumsy and antiquated pagers, which are also expensive.

The system has been trialled by Blackrock Clinic and St James's Hospital in Dublin.

The Dublin-based company has previously raised close to €200,000 from investors, and has been named as a high potential startup by Enterprise Ireland.

In 2013, Rafferty went to Google's Startup Weekend in Dublin. He pitched the Medxnote idea and won first prize at the event.

The company was included in the National Digital Research Centre's LaunchPad programme, securing €20,000 in seed funding.

"There's no manual telling you what to do or how to do it," Rafferty said in an interview last year.

"You're bound to make mistakes.

"The key is to realise when you are wrong and to address the issue.

"If you don't make mistakes when setting up your own business, you must be doing something wrong," he says.

Brexit collapses house of cards

Netflix and Apple could become the latest casualties of Brexit.

Analysts fear that Netflix's streaming service could be hit if Britons, who have been warned to be "prudent" by Bank of England governor Mark Carney, decide to save money by switching off their service.

One analyst also suggested that the service offered by Netflix - including hit shows such as 'House of Cards' might be an unexpected casualty of the vote, and one that Netflix-loving Brexiteers may not have thought of.

The streaming service, for example, could be subject to different rules and regulations.

The UK is believed to be Netflix's biggest market outside the US.

"We worry that Brexit adds fundamental risks that decelerating GDP growth in the UK and the EU over the next 12 to 24 months will accelerate churn of Netflix subscribers or slow subscriber growth," an analysts wrote, quoted by the 'New York Post'.

Separately, Citigroup analyst Jim Suva said Brexit could also weigh on demand for Apple devices.

Irish Independent

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