Friday 15 December 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent:

***Retail rents in the capital will rise by 9.3pc by the end of 2016, a trend that is likely to reignite the row over so-called ‘upward only’ rent reviews that flared up ahead of the last election.

Increases are expected across Dublin’s main shopping districts, including out-of-town centres, but at a mix of paces,  Among the biggest forecast rent rises is a 16.5pc increase for shops on Grafton Street.

That is according to a report by Savills, based on a model devised by its economists and the ESRI. They forecast retail rents will grow at an accelerating rate over the next 18 months, after increasing 3.7pc in the past year.

***Parents will continue to be forced out of work unless the Government makes childcare a priority in the upcoming Budget, a business lobby group has warned.

Chambers Ireland warned the Government must drastically rethink its approach to childcare services because it is causing an “extraordinary loss in skills and talent”.

In its ‘Investing for Tomorrow’ report, due to be published today, Chambers Ireland has identified five key issues that must be addressed in a reform of the current childcare and after-school care services.

***Companies would save €1bn per year in administrative costs if the European Union adopts a common approach to corporate taxation, EU Economic and Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has claimed.

The former French finance minister has posted an article to his online blog calling for a mandatory EU common consolidated corporate tax base, a plan that has been stalled for years because of opposition from countries including Ireland.

Brussels wants to revive the tax plan by proposing a phased-in approach that would postpone the plan’s consolidation element, but move toward a single way to calculate taxable income.


Irish Times:

***Senior Government minister, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny, have made representations to Finance Minister Michael Noonan on behalf of constituents who want the tax treatment of Airbnb income changed, the Irish Times reports.

According to records released under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr Kenny emailed Mr Noonan in March with a constituent’s suggestion that Airbnb accommodation be brought under the rent-a-room scheme, under which a person can earn €12,000 a year tax free.

Controversy regarding the holiday accommodation site erupted earlier this year when it was revealed that the company gave details of its users income via Airbnb to Revenue.

***The construction of one-off houses fell by 40pc in the first six months of the year, according to a new study.

That is according to figures from the National Housing Construction Index compiled by consultancy firm Link2Plans. It said that here has been an overall reduction in activity since 2014.

However the number of multi-unit developments has risen strongly over the past two years, increasing from 72 during 2013 compared to 232 in the first half of 2015.

***Telecoms group Digicel, which is owned by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, is expected to set a price for its IPO later this week.

The company is looking to raise between $1.5bn and $2bn on the New York Stock Exchange.

It will list on the exchange between seven and ten days after it signals a price range, which could happen as soon as today.


Irish Examiner:

***Irish companies are falling short in satisfying customers’ expectations compared to international firms, according to a new study.

The Cexi.org survey, which is based on Amarach Research of 2,700 people here and ranks 151 companies. The top ten companies and brands included the likes of credit unions, Dublin Zoo and An Post.

However Gerard O’Neill of Amarach Research said: “Irish companies recorded the lowest scores in the ‘expectations’ category and it’s clear that many are failing to live up to their own promises or undertaking”.

***New Wicklow-based venture Powerscourt Distillery is looking for funding to build a new €10m distillery.

Company founders Gerry Ginty and Ashley Gardiner said they will submit planning permission today for a “craft distillery” in the Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow.

They are looking to raise €5m in a funding round this year. They say that 30 jobs will be created in the construction phase of the project while there will be 18 full time jobs when the facility is operating.

***Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation, after US regulators found that its software for diesel cars gave false emissions data, its CEO said yesterday.

He said he was “deeply sorry” for the violation of US rules. “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Martin Winterkorn.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said last week the software deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions, and said Volkswagen could face fines of up to $18bn (€15.9bn) as a result.

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