Sunday 25 March 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:

***Homeowners who have rented out rooms to tourists using a well-known website will now have their details handed over to the Revenue Commissioners.

An estimated 9,000 householders have rented on Airbnb.

The taxman is planning to go after those who haven’t declared this rental income. The clampdown will be backdated to May 2014.  

***Irish aircraft leasing giant Avolon is in exclusive talks to sell itself just eight months after listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

The talks take the board of Dublin-based Avolon dramatically closer to accepting a $32-a -share takeover offer from China’s Bohai Leasing that values the stock at $2.64bn (€2.39bn), giving the company an enterprise value – which includes debts – of $7.6bn (€6.8bn).

The offer price is up more than 50pc since Avolon, headed by Clare man Domhnal Slattery, floated on the markets back in December at $20 a share.

***One of the biggest solar energy companies in the world, Lightsource Renewable Energy, is aiming to invest several hundred million euros into Ireland over the next five years.

The UK-based firm, which is the world’s third largest solar energy company outside of China and the biggest in Europe, announced yesterday that it is making a “significant” investment in Ireland.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Nick Boyle, the Antrim-born founder and chief executive of Lightsource, said that the final amount invested would depend on the Government’s current consultation process on renewable energy.

Irish Times:

***€165m in State funding is needed to develop the zoned land around Dublin city and county for housing, according to an unpublished Government report.

According to the Irish Times the report states that as many as 100,000 houses could be built on zoned land available across Dublin, although half of these would not get planning permission due to a lack of infrastructure.

The report by the Dublin Housing Supply Task Force found almost 50,000 homes could be built if State agencies spent €165m on the needed infrastructure.

***Google, which has been expanding far beyond its original business of internet search advertising, is changing its operating structure by creating a new holding company called Alphabet.

The company says its new structure will give more independence to many of its wide-ranging and ambitious projects. Its shares rose by as much as 5.8pc in extended trading.

Under the plan, Alphabet will comprise the core Google business, including internet search, mapping and YouTube, along with newer businesses that will be managed separately, such as Google Fiber, Nest and the investment arm Google Ventures.

***Falling milk prices will cost the Irish economy about €1bn this year, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA).

At last week’s global Dairy Trade auction, which sets the reference price for milk, dairy prices fell to a 12 year low. Official data shows farmers are getting an average of 28 cent per litre, down from a high of 43 cent last year.

The ICMSA estimates that farmers are facing annual income swings of as much as €40,000 and said that conditions would worsen unless the European Commission takes action.

Irish Examiner:

***A new data cable brought ashore on the south coast that links Ireland to one of the world’s fastest transatlantic fibre-optic sub-sea cables has brought the hopes of hundreds of jobs to the area, the Irish Examiner reports.

Global networks operator Hibernia Networks landed the ‘spur’ off its €200m 100 gigabit-per-second Project Express cable on Garrettstown beach in Cork yesterday.

The link will open up high capacity connectivity from Cork direct to the US and the UK. The newspaper reports that it is hoped that the new infrastructure could help attract players in the cloud computing and data sectors and deliver hundreds of jobs.

***One of the country’s largest residential landlords has said that the rents being charged to private tenants has risen by up to 15pc over the past year.

Irish Residential Properties REIT (I-RES), which owns 1,566 apartments across the country, made a pre-tax profit of €14.8m in the six months to the end of June, up from €5.8m in the same period last year.

The property investment company yesterday said that its occupancy rates are nearly at 100pc which helped drive strong earnings in the first half of the year.

***Grocery giant Musgrave Group is set for a first net annual profit in two years by the end of 2015, the Irish Examiner reports.

Losses at Musgrave Group reduced by €100m last year to €13m compared to €113m for 2013 when exceptional costs, largely the acquisition of the Supervalu brand, amounted to €70m.

Group sales came to €4.6bn with Centra consolidating its position as the number one convenience retailer in the market and Supervalu racking up sales of €2.6bn.

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