Thursday 22 March 2018

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

* Internet retail giant Amazon is planning yet another massive data centre in Dublin in a move that could propel its expected total capital expenditure on such projects here to as much as €1bn, the Irish Independent understands.

The Irish Independent recently revealed that Amazon is already planning to build another huge data centre at a site in Blanchardstown in Dublin. That's expected to cost as much as €200m to build.

But now Amazon is also planning the construction of another large data centre on a huge site close to Dublin Airport, at the Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park.

* Earnings at the recently rebranded cable TV provider Virgin Media increased by 5pc to €135m last year in spite of a drop in customer numbers.

New figures lodged by UPC Communications Ireland Ltd - now trading as Virgin Media - show that the firm enjoyed the increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as revenues rose by 1pc from €347.7m to €351m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The higher profits came even as the company lost more than 15,000 customers. By the end of the year, UPC had little more than half a million clients.

* Irish people are over-reliant on the State pension and as a result are putting huge pressure on the entire pension system, a new report has found.

Pensions firm Mercer claims that workers need to put more money into a private pension scheme instead of expecting the State payout to be there when they finally retire.

Its survey ranked Ireland 20th out of 25 countries for the strength of the pension system here.

The Irish Times

* The government will have less flexibility in next year's budget to reduce taxes and increase spending.

It suggests that the government may only have €500m to play with next year, a considerably smaller figure to the €1.5bn spent on tax cuts and spending increases this year.

The figures comes form updated calculations from the Department of Finance and with pressures from the Lansdowne Road deal it may only leave €1.1bn for 2018's budget.

* PwC says that the introduction of a new petroleum protection tax will send out the wrong message to companies interested in exploration activities in Ireland.

The new tax will see the maximum tax on oil and gas fields rising by 15pc up to 55pc with the aim being to bring in larger and earlier financial returns to the country.

However, partner at PwC Ronan MacNicolais, believes that the increase in the tax will lead to questions on whether or not the government will support a viable petroleum industry.

* Over 60pc of those working in the pension industry are earning more that €55,000 a year according to a survey from the Irish Institute of Pensions Managemement.

According to the survey, 61pc of workers in the industry saw their compensation packages rise, while 26pc reported no change and 14pc reported a fall.

Over 85pc of workers received pension contributions as part of their renumeration with 40pc of those surveyed saying they had a company car.

Irish Examiner

* A former Enterprise Ireland (EI) executive has said that a deficit in managerial skills and a lack of business development expertise limits Irish start-ups.

Ex-software design chief at EI, Pat Byrne said that Irish start-ups are typically strong in the technical aspects of their business but are relatively weak in other areas.

Byrne also said that businesses are also finding it hard to raise between €2m and €7m saying that venture capital firms (VCs) are monitored by government on then number of investments made rather than the performance of the VC.

* The M3 toll generated operating profits of €380,000 per week for private operator, Eurolink Motorway Operation (M3), while a further €2.6m added to the company's profits in the form of a state-sponsored subsidy.

Daily traffic volumes on the road, which runs from Clonee to North of Kells in Meath, increased by 7.34pc rising up to 23,000 vehicles.

* Wholesale gas prices dropped by 13pc on average in October of this year when compared to the same month last year.

The figures come from the Wholesale Energy Market Report also revealed that gas was 2pc cheaper when compared to September of this year.

Outside of gas the report shows a month on month increase of 6pc in electricity due to a lower month on month contribution by renewable energy sources.

Online Editors

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