Wednesday 21 August 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

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

Irish Independent

* Ardagh, the packaging giant controlled by Dublin financier Paul Coulson, has delayed plans for a stock market flotation of its metals containers business.

Mr Coulson, who is executive chairman of the group, owns about a third of Ardagh, which has its roots in Irish Glass.

The company yesterday cited "challenging" market conditions for initial public offerings (IPO) in the United States for the decision to back away from the move.

* Ryanair wants to drive fares down this winter to put pressure on its competitors, chief executive Michael O'Leary said.

The airline yesterday posted a 37pc jump in after-tax profit for the first half of its financial year - to €1.088bn - excluding a one-off gain of €317.5m from the sale of its stake in Aer Lingus.

It said it expected full-year net profit to be at the upper end of its guided range of €1.175bn to €1.225bn. In July it became the first EU airline to carry 10 million passengers in one month, the airline said. "We have enjoyed a bumper summer due to a very rare confluence of favourable events including stronger sterling, adverse weather in northern Europe, reasonably flat industry capacity and further savings on our unhedged fuel," Mr O'Leary said. He told CNBC's Squawkbox that "everything is so good it's worrying".

* The Irish arm of car manufacturer Fiat made a profit of almost €630,000 last year, reversing a small loss in 2013.

Fiat Chysler Ireland handles the import and distribution of Fiat cars and parts in the Republic of Ireland.

Accounts just filed for the company show that turnover rose from just under €13m in 2013 to €15.8m in the 12 months to the end of 2014 while the firm swung from an operating loss of €37,000 to an operating profit of €558,000.

The Irish Times

* A former Central Bank official told the Oireachtas banking inquiry that the bank had used selective research in order to mislead the public about the condition of the Irish financial system.

The official, Frank Browne, also revealed that senior members of the Central Bank had ignored his team's warnings when it came to financial stability.

Mr Browne said that the bank's failure to recognise the unsustainable nature of the property bubble in 2007 mean that it had missed the opportunity for a hard landing.

* Canadian billionaire, Galen Weston along with his Irish wife, Hilary, have taken ownership of famous Henry Street store, Arnotts.

The purchase was made through Selfridges for an undisclosed fee which means the store will join Grafton Street high end shop, Brown Thomas, in their retail portfolio.

Selfridges are set to invest heavily in Arnotts and the groups managing director, Paul Kelly, said the store would not be turned into another Brown Thomas.

* Biometric technology company, Daon, has won a contract to supply automated passport control kiosks for use at Dublin Airport's US immigration pre-clearance zone.

Daon's chief executive, Tom Grissen, confirmed that the company had won a 'multi-year contract' in conjunction with its partner GCR.

The kiosks are said to help reduce wait time significantly.

Irish Examiner

* Mortgage rates could be halved as part of a new EU loan plan that looks to open the lending markets all across the EU.

Irish rates are currently the highest in the EU due to the bailed-out banks and borrowing from non-Irish banks is almost impossible.

The plan is due to come out next year and would open up the market allowing competition to open up for mortgages and for deposits and insurance.

* Eircom is to pay €35,000 to charity after being ordered to do so for harassing ex-customers with unwanted calls and text messages.

The firm was the most complained of company in the Irish telecom industry when it came to breaking data protection regulations.

At the Dublin District Court yesterday, Judge John O'Neill, heard evidence that Eircom, who have recently changed to Eir, had broken data protection law in communicating with customers who had told them they did not want them.

* Ireland is losing billions by not tapping into the potential of its youth through high unemployment in the age group and by low levels of participation in jobs training andn education.

PwC found that Ireland languished amongst the bottom of the the group of OECD wealthy countries due to its relatively high youth unemployment rate.

Only Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Turkey are ranked lower than they are here, while the Swiss, the Germans and the Austrians rank among the best.

Online Editors

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