Saturday 21 April 2018

The Punt: Kingspan staff in the green

Bank of Ireland and Paul Dunne have agreed a sponsorship deal Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Bank of Ireland and Paul Dunne have agreed a sponsorship deal Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Newsdesk Newsdesk

Some very lucrative shares have been dished out at Cavan-based insulation giant Kingspan lately.

Company filings show that the firm, headed by chief executive Gene Murtagh, has been rewarding employees with stock under incentive plans.

One filing shows staff from countries including Ireland, the US, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands sharing in the spoils.

That same filing shows a total of just over 206,000 shares allocated to dozens of staff, with each of the shares having an exercise price of just 13 cent.

Yesterday, Kingspan shares were changing hands at about €22, making those 206,000 shares worth €4.5m.

Another filing shows that a separate tranche of almost 119,000 shares was allocated to dozens of staff back in February.

Those shares are currently worth €2.6m. The exercise price on those was also just 13 cent.

It's no wonder staff are being rewarded. Kingspan posted record revenue of €2.77bn last year, and profits after tax of €190m, which was a 79pc increase on 2014.

The company is hoping to be one of the beneficiaries of the signing in New York last week by over 160 nations of the Paris climate treaty.

The agreement aims to control rising temperatures, but it still could be some way off being implemented.

McDonald's boss is lovin' it

Steve Easterbrook's plan to revive the world's largest restaurant chain is gathering momentum.

The turnaround for McDonald's is showing signs of gaining steam - helped by all-day breakfasts, value deals and lower commodity prices - even as labour costs and other headwinds linger.

Since taking the helm more than a year ago, Easterbrook has reignited US sales with all-day breakfast and McPick two-for-$2 and two-for-$5 deals. In Asia, he's seeking partners to accelerate its growth plans. The Big Mac seller plans to add more than 1,500 restaurants in China, Hong Kong and Korea in the next five years.

Unlike the food he sells, Easterbrook's achievements don't come cheap. He brought home a whopping $7.91m (€7.04m) last year - a 368pc raise over the $1.6m he earned as chief brand officer in 2014.

This rankles some people given that Stateside, low-wage McDonald's workers are striking around the country for higher pay.

Protesters who gathered in Times Square earlier this month carried a Ronald McDonald effigy and some dressed as the Hamburglar.

BOI's third golf sponsorship

Bank of Ireland has inked a two-year sponsorship deal with Irish professional golfer Paul Dunne.

Paul will become an "ambassador" for the bank at golfing tournaments in Ireland and internationally, a press release from the lender said. Its logo will appear on his golf clothes and he will make appearances at events for the bank.

The newly-professional golfer is certainly a rising sports star. He burst onto the radar when, as an amateur, he shared the lead heading into the final round of the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews and set a tournament record for the lowest 54-hole score by an amateur. Later last year, the Wicklow native shared the first-round lead in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, eventually finishing tied 19th.

There must be a lot of golf fans over at the lender's HQ on Baggot street in Dublin - it already sponsors Shane Lowry and the European Tour's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

However, all of these deals may not inspire the kind of recognition among Bank of Ireland's customers that they once would have - swathes of Irish people gave up golf when the recession bit down.

Membership of clubs sank as squeezed players abandoned leisure spending. Many golf clubs are still trying to play their way out of financial bunkers.

Irish Independent

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