Saturday 17 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

* David Drumm has been denied bail by a US judge who failed to be swayed by complaints that he found prison "uncomfortable".

The former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive now faces at least a further four months behind bars.

In an eleven-page ruling, Boston District Court Judge Donald Cabell said Mr Drumm (49) had not established the presence of "special circumstances" sufficient to overcome the presumption in favour of detention.

* Real growth in the economy may be around half the official rate - a still healthy 3.5pc - but not comparable to the early years of the Celtic Tiger boom in 2000s, Davy Stockbrokers has warned.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) yesterday show the Irish economy expanded by 7pc in the year to the end of September.

The data shows the economy is on course to have grown by 7pc by year end.

* US pharma company Pozen has scrapped its plans to move its headquarters to Ireland after reviewing new efforts by the US Treasury designed to combat tax inversions.

The firm announced in June that it intended to move its headquarters to Ireland after acquiring Canadian Tribute Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth about $144m.

As part of the transaction, a group of investors, including healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management and Canadian biotech company QLT, were to invest up to $350m in growth capital for the combined business, which is to be called Aralez Pharmaceuticals.

The Irish Times

* Brown Thomas, the luxury retailer, expects to report double-digit sales growth before the end of the year as the store continues to benefit from improved consumer confidence.

The retailer also has plans for a €15m investment across the group next year with intentions to spend in excess of €10m on the second floor of its Grafton Street store.

Managing director at Brown Thomas, Stephen Sealey, said that it's all still top play for between now and the start of January.

* A Cork-based start up, that was started just three years ago, has sold for $44m (€40m) to consumer credit rating company, TransUnion.

Trustev, which was set up in 2013 by Pat Phelan and Chris Kennedy, was acquired by TransUnion in a deal that will see it pay $21m up front and up to $23m more based on targets set for Trustev.

Trustev verifies the identity of online shoppers by generating a digital fingerprint through various social media accounts.

* The Government may be granted more leeway to make tax cuts and increase spending in future budgets according to a report in The Irish Times.

The report says that the coalition will soon be granted room to breath on a key medium term financial target that will mean more flexibility on budgetary arithmetic.

The news comes off the back of ministers expecting the Irish economy to grow by a total of 7pc this year.

Irish Examiner

* Profits at Abbey, the property development group, have soared by nearly 75pc in the company’s interim results up to €29.68m.

In the company’s results for the six month period ending October 31, Abbey’s profits grew by €12.69m off the back of strong trading in the UK which led to a turnover of in excess of €100m.

The group’s housebuilding division completed 294 sales, the majority of which were in the UK.

* Irish operations of Argos and Homebase both made losses last year according to newly filed financial results, posted by their UK parent company, Home Retail.

Pre-tax losses at Homebase House and Garden almost doubled last year after they increased to €9.05m while revenues declined by 4pc to €43.7m.

Argos also showed losses in its financial results. The retailer's annual results showed pre-tax losses of €175,000, which represented an enormous negative swing of €8.7m.

* While inflation fell this month rents continued to soar ruling out the financial benefit to new renters according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO cost of living figures revealed that overall inflation fell by 0.3pc while landlords across the country saw the average rent grow by 0.4pc.

According to the figures rent is now 10pc more expensive than it was this time last year.

Online Editors

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