Monday 19 February 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

HERE are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

Irish Independent:

***The Labour Party has capitulated to Fine Gael demands and accepted an improved offer for the State’s share in Aer Lingus from airline giant IAG.

After months of concerns over the electoral impact of the sale, Labour agreed to sign off on a deal which will see IAG pledge to create hundreds of jobs. The Government will also hold a veto over the sale of the crucial Heathrow Airport landing slots.

The ‘Aer Lingus Seven’ – a group of Labour TDs mostly based in North Dublin, vehemently opposed to the initial offer – last night released a statement welcoming the deal.

***Ireland has been urged to keep an open mind on new plans for a common EU corporate tax base.

The plans are expected to be unveiled as early as next month and will be discussed by the European Commission today, Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said yesterday.  

The so-called Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) proposal was heavily debated a number of years ago and was intended to provide a single set of rules that companies operating within the EU could use to calculate their taxable profits. Ireland was not in favour of the plans.

***Iarnród Éireann is planning to outsource operations at the country’s second-busiest port at Rosslare in Co Wexford, the Irish Independent has learned.

The railway company has sought expressions of interest from across Europe for a private company to operate the facility, which is in need of major investment.

Rosslare recorded a profit of €2.1m in 2013 on a turnover of €9.6m. However, with ships becoming larger, the port will have to invest in new berths which could cost as much as €60m.

Irish Times:

***The chief executive of a €457m property investment fund has said that he is expecting rental growth of 10pc for the year, according to the Irish Times.

Speaking at the Irish Residential Properties Reit’s annual general meeting yesterday, David Ehrlich also signalled that the current density laws in Dublin are making it difficult for development to take place.

Speaking to the Irish Times he said: “We’d like to see a more flexible approach in terms of density and heights.”

***A third Irish beef processor has been granted access to the US beef market amid reports of disappointing trading since the market was opened for Irish producers, the Irish Times reports.

The Dawn Meats plant in Chareleville, Cork, is only the third Irish processor to have been granted access to the lucrative US beef market since a ban on Irish beef was lifted there earlier this year.

Speaking to the Irish Times, the Wexford-based group said that it is “actively pursuing a number of opportunities in the US market.”

***Ryanair is looking to European markets such as Germany to drive growth as it expects profits of as much as €970m for the current financial year, according to the company’s management.

The prediction was made yesterday as the airline helped boost its full-year profits by 66pc to €867m last year. The figure was a record for Ryanair, which launched 30 years ago this July.

The airline is now expecting profits of between €940m and €970m for the current financial year, which ends on 31 March 2016.

Irish Examiner:

***Ireland’s second-hand economy is valued at more than €4.5bn, with thousands of people using the web to turn “clutter into cash”.

More than €300m worth of goods a month were traded on DoneDeal alone last year, according to the ‘Second-Hand Ireland Economy’ report by economist David McWilliams.

It said while high street retail sales remain sluggish, the online second-hand market had seen an explosion with growth of 215pc over the past five years.

***The FAI is planning on building a new soccer centre of excellence in Cork, according to the Irish Examiner.

The paper reports that FAI chief executive John Delaney has drafted a plan to build the facility on a 30.4 acre site at Brooklodge, Glanmire.

Speaking to the newspaper he said: “We are looking for a 99 year lease on the land, which is owned by Cork County Council. We have spoken to the council’s executive about the plan and they’ve favourably received it.”

***Average hourly earnings have increased by just 1c over the last four years to €22.23, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The data also shows that although average weekly earnings increased by €3.60 a week over the last year, only five out of thirteen employment sectors saw a wage increase.

Average weekly earnings in the quarter was €696.03 compared to €692.43 a year earlier.

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