Wednesday 25 April 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

Irish Independent

* The Eurozone's private sector has entered 2016 on solid footing as it expanded in the final months of last year at a pace not seen for four and a half years, according to a closely watched survey.

And the expansion was broad based, with growth not only in Ireland but in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, according to the final Purchasing Managers' Index of the year.

Ireland topped the PMI league table, with Italy in second position followed by Germany.

* The IDA announced yesterday that its client companies created just under 19,000 jobs during 2015, the most ever recorded in the State agency's 67 year history.

CEO Martin Shanahan said that the organisation is aiming to match that performance in 2016, but added that the rate of personal taxes must be kept under review to ensure the country remains competitive in attracting foreign investment.

The organisation, which is responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, said that every region of Ireland posted net gains in jobs. When the number of positions lost were taken into account net jobs were up by 11,833 compared to 7,131 during the same period last year. Total employment at overseas companies now stands at 187,056 people, the highest level ever recorded by the IDA.

* Profits at the UK arm of Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Developments last year increased almost three fold to £154.9m (€217.6m)

New accounts lodged by Ballymore Properties Holdings Ltd and subsidiaries with Companies House in the UK show that the group recorded the profit in spite of revenues more than halving from £222.7m to £99.6m in the 12 months to the end of March 31st last.

The group's profits were boosted by a number of non-cash items including a £38m increase in the value of stock; a £15m increase in the value of fixed assets and a non-cash £50m profit on the restructuring of joint arrangements.

The Irish Times

* Garret Kelleher, the Irish developer, is facing contempt proceedings in a US court this month over his involvement in a €60m insurance claim taken by a group of Liberian firms.

According to a report in The Irish Times Mr Kelleher is alleged to have breached an order to stop a claim for some $66m.

The judge presiding over the case has warned that a failure to appear could lead to fines or other sanctions.

* An Irish medtech company is hoping to raise €15m to help develop and commercialise its first product, which is a form of revolutionary bone-repair technology.

SurgaColl Technologies has received European approval for tis product which is a highly porous sponge scaffold that contains the main constituent elements of bones.

The target market for the new product is those who have suffered high-impact fractures like crash victims.

* The IDA has said that one in five private sector jobs are supported, either directly or indirectly, by foreign multi-national corporations.

The agency revealed the figure at its end of year report where it also showed that employment in the multinational sector rose to 187,000.

CEO of the IDA, Martin Shanahan, said that Ireland's tax regime has helped improve employment against what he describes as global uncertainty.

Irish Examiner

* U2's ticket sales stood them in good stead last year as the band raked in €141.6m in box office receipts from fans who paid to see them perform.

However, U2's major global tour didn't top the rankings last year after One Direction, grabbed the third spot with Taylor Swift and AC/DC occupying the top two.

The average gross return from a U2 gig was $6.92m, which was by far the most lucrative average return per gig that any other of the top 20 artists.

* Bob Geldof landed a €3m dividend windfall from the TV production company responsible for reality TV show, Survivor.

Geldof has shares in Castaway Television Productions which has been producing dividends on an annual basis.

The firm's pre-tax profit grew by 49pc, up to £4.7m, while revenues in the firm also witnessed a large increase of 37pc, up to £9.49m.

* Department of Finance officials have opposed environment minister Alan Kelly's plans to use the taxation system to solve the housing crisis.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner Mr Kelly wished to use the tax system to freeze rents in order to help ease the crisis.

The report continues, saying that officials from the Department of Finance said that any such moves would be misguided and incur serious problems.

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