Thursday 23 November 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning.

Irish Independent

* Irish business people will need to tread carefully in the campaign to prevent a Brexit - a UK exit from the EU - while at the same time highlighting the damage it could do to this country, according to IAG boss Willie Walsh.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum by the end of 2017 that will allow voters there to decide whether or not they want to remain a member of the European Union. Mr Cameron has said he wants to secure EU reforms prior to a referendum.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Walsh said the concern for Ireland revolves around the close economic and social links with the UK. A poll last week found that 39pc of UK voters favour a Brexit.

* The businesswoman at the centre of the controversy around the closure of iconic Dublin store Clery's last year pocketed €350,000 in a property deal with her own firm.

The €350,000 received by Deirdre Foley from D2 Private for her 50pc interest of a property at Harcourt Terrace is disclosed in new accounts that show mounting losses at D2 Private.

The accounts disclose that the firm recorded pre-tax losses of €775,037 in the 12 months to the end of December last and this followed the firm recording pre-tax losses of €467,409 in 2013.

* Pre-tax profits at Indaver Ireland, the firm that operates an incinerator at Duleek, Co Meath, last year increased by 18pc to €12.5m.

That is according to new figures lodged by Indaver Ireland Ltd which show that the firm recorded the jump in pre-tax profits after revenues increased by 11pc, going from €71.89m to €79.8m in the 12 months to the end of last December.

Construction of the incinerator at Duleek in Co Meath commenced in 2008 and Indaver commenced operations of its incinerator in September 2011.

The Irish Times

* German supermarket giant, Aldi, is to start paying the living wage of €11.50 and recruit 400 new staff, following sustained growth and store expansion in the Republic of Ireland.

The company announced the move ahead of the opening of its 121st and 122nd Irish sores. Aldi already pays its store assistants a minimum of €11 an hour but has decided to follow in the footsteps of rivals Lidl which announced it would pay the living wage earlier in the month.

The living wage is a 33pc higher than the current statutory minimum wage of €8.65, which is due to rise to €9.15 in January.

* Chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and partner in Draper Espirt, Brian Caulfield, has criticised the Department of Finance's restrictions on tax relief imposed in last week's Finance Bill.

Mr Caulfield said that there are parts of the bill that he says are "simply insane", one of which he notes is the requirement that beneficiaries of capital gains tax (CGT) relief must must be company directors.

The Draper Esprit partner also said that those who are self-employed  are subject to higher USC rates if they have an income of over €100,000 as he believes the department hold a suspicion that they don't pay their taxes.

* New York-headquartered bakery restaurant chain, Le Pain Quotidien, is hoping to have four stores opened before the end of next year in the greater Dublin area.

UK and Ireland managing director, Peter Jenkins, says that the company are also looking at more options outside of Dublin too, including Cork.

The chain's first store is due to open this week in Kildare Village and the opening of its first three stores will be the result of a €5m investment which will lead to the creation of up to 120 jobs.

The Irish Examiner

* A deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) refund scheme that was introduced in last year's budget with the aim of helping 9,500 people buy their first home was only availed of by 74 applicants.

The scheme allows buyers to retain 100pc of the interest that they earn on their savings, thus making it easier to save for a deposit. However, figures to the end of September show that the scheme has helped less than 1pc of those Minister Noonan expected it would benefit.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, Michael McGrath said that the scheme has now proven to be a flop.

* Texan software company, SolarWinds, has been acquired by two private equity firms for $4.5bn (€4.08bn).

The company, which has its national headquarters in Cork, was acquired by two tech-focused investment firms, namely Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo.

The company's chief executive, Kevin B Thompson, believes that the deal will bring more flexibility to the company to deliver for its customers.

* Teagasc research ecologist, Daire Ó hUallacháin, believes that agri-government schemes will assist the country to help lift the bad conservation status that is associated with a number of Irish grassland habitats.

Dr Ó hUallacháin was speaking at the Teagasc Biodiversity Conference in Portlaoise and said that AEOS and other schemes will see some farmers granted €4,000 to help them preserve targeted grassland habitats.

He said that these schemes have an important role in delivering environmental public goods which is how the EU assesses farm payments.

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