Friday 24 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

* The cash pile at Dublin-based U2 firm, U2 Ltd increased 19-fold to €2.86m last year, new figures show.

Currently, the band is adding to its coffers with the European leg of its Innocence + Experience tour following the US leg that grossed $76m from 650,582 tickets sold.

Last month, the Dublin leg of the tour resulted in U2's four-star boutique Clarence hotel being booked out for the week the band performed here and new accounts show that the hotel recorded profits of €400,000 last year.

* Facebook Ireland last year paid only €3.4m in corporate tax in spite of revenues rocketing by over €1.8bn to €4.83bn.

The Dublin-based firm, which serves as Facebook's international HQ, accounted for 47pc of Facebook's global revenues of $12.46bn as the Irish unit's revenues increased by 62.5pc over the 12 months.

However, in spite of the growing importance of Facebook Ireland to the social media giant's worldwide operations, its corporate tax bill rose by only €1.1m to €3.4m last year.

* House-builder Cairn Homes and private equity giant Lone Star are set to buy Dublin-based loans portfolio Project Clear, which includes the Adamstown landbank, in a deal worth €503m.

The loans portfolio, which is being sold by Ulster Bank, is segregated into three areas, with each area consisting of so-called "landmark" sites.

The first consists of Adamstown, a large landbank in west Dublin, where some 7,000 homes can be built. The other key assets in the portfolio are a nine-acre site at Cross Avenue in Blackrock as well as an 80-acre site in Portmarnock.

Irish Examiner

* Oil prices are at a seven year low while a strong dollar has made it even more difficult to hold crude oil positions.

At an Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meeting last night, stakeholders came to disagreement over production cuts in relation to ts output ceiling.

During its policy meeting on Friday Opec could not agree on stemming production in a bid to halt the slide of prices which have fallen by 60pc since June of last year.

* The Royal Bank of Scotland is set to prioritise cuts at Coutts, its private investment bank as it was revealed that the unit had a 90pc cost-to-income ratio.

Ulster Bank chief executive, Ross McEwan, wants to lower expenses at the bank, according to a source who asked not to be named.

However, spokespeople for Ulster Bank say that they are not expecting  any more imminent cuts at the bank.

* Google is set to merge its European start-up investment fund, Google Ventures Europe, with its American counterpart.

The search giant says that the change will come into effect in January and will help remove limitations by the size of the funds as well as helping improve its flexibility.

Google Ventures Europe had made six investments to date since being set up in July of last year, five of whom are in UK-based companies.

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