Friday 20 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

* AN international credit ratings agency has questioned the effectiveness of the Central Bank in regulating insurers.

Standards & Poor's said the handling of various insurance company failures by the regulator raised questions about its ability to regulate the sector.

It follows the collapse of Setanta Insurance, the multi-million euro bailout of the State's largest general insurer, RSA, by its parent, and the earlier failure of Quinn Insurance.

* The 3Arena in Dublin enjoyed a €35.7m box office bonanza last year with U2 the biggest draw of 2015.

New figures provided by trade industry journal 'Pollstar' show that U2 earned more than €1.1m a show for their four-night stint at the venue last November.

The figures show the U2 gigs generated €4.6m in box office receipts for the gigs that were enjoyed by 46,784 fans.

* Turnover at the Irish company behind Stobart Air, the carrier that operates the Aer Lingus Regional service, jumped 24pc to €127.3m in 2014, new accounts for the business show.

But the firm, Everdeal Holdings, made a €13.5m operating loss, primarily as a result of increased leasing costs, as well as €4m of certain onerous contract costs. That compared to a €19.2m loss in 2013.

It also incurred costs of over €200,000 in 2014 for closing its Shannon base, which it terminated on January 5 last year with the loss of about 20 weekly flights, the accounts show. However, last March Stobart Air announced that it was returning to Shannon from June with a reduced level of service.

The Irish Times

* In the wake of flooding that submerged much of the country it has been revealed that Irish insurers are "less prone" to natural catastrophes than other countries according to credit rating company, Standard and Poor (S&P).

According to a new report published by S&P, Irish insurers' credit risk to natural disasters stands at intermediate and was compared to levels in the UK, Italy and Spain.

The report also said that Irish insurers went through a difficult year last year with an increase reported in motor and liability claims.

* Exports of infant formula helped protect the dairy exports sector from the worst of the milk prices crisis last year according to Bord Bia's latest Export Performance and Prospects report.

Irish exports of infant formula to China grew by 40pc last year in spite of the fact that milk prices fell substantially for much of last year.

Outside of the exports of infant formula, general exports in dairy would have fallen by 8pc year on year.

* Pre-tax profits at luxury grocer, Donnybrook Fair, fell by 33pc last year to €403,336 despite the fact that revenues at the firm actually grew.

Turnover increased by €500,000 up to €23.5m while profit after tax declined to €314,924.

Donnybrook Fair has six outlets across Dublin and Wicklow.

Irish Examiner

* Pre-tax profits at the only Irish store operated by luxury brand Tiffany's have continued to rise as the firm's demand grows.

Last year the Irish branch of one of the world's most recognisable jewellery brands reported an increase in pre-tax profits of €244,000.

The US company's Irish outlet is a concession within Brown Thomas on Grafton Street in Dublin.

* The Web Summit's parent company experienced a doubling of its cash pile last year bringing it up to €2.5m.

The three directors in the firm had less of a payout last year as they shared a combined pay of €288,814.

Staff costs rose significantly last year as the firm continued to expand, bringing the wage bill up to €3.3m.

* University College Cork is to become the first university campus to be powered entirely by by renewable sources.

The college has agreed a deal with Electric Ireland that will see 100pc of its power over the next two years provided by renewable sources.

UCC currently uses in the region of 12GWh a year, which is the equivalent of 2,300 households.

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