Thursday 22 February 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Here are the main business stories from today's papers:

Irish Independent

* The DAA will examine all appropriate funding methods - including a possible bond issue - to help bankroll the development of a new runway at Dublin Airport, according to chief executive Kevin Toland.

The DAA, which also controls Cork Airport, is currently examining plans for a second parallel runway at the capital as passenger numbers soar. Last year, Dublin Airport handled over 25 million passengers, a record for the facility and 15pc more than in 2014, making it one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe.

Existing planning permission for a new runway expires next year, and the DAA is currently evaluating whether or not it will rely on that current permission, or submit a new planning application. Under planning rules, such an application would be made directly to An Bord Pleanala under the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act.

* Danuta Gray, the former head of O2 Ireland, has stepped down as a director and chair of Gigabit Fibre, an Irish firm that was established last year with the aim of securing business under the government's National Broadband Plan.

However, Gigabit chief executive Peter Cook told the Irish Independent that while Ms Gray has resigned as chair, she retains her interest in the company and will continue to attend board meetings and act in an advisory capacity to the business.

She has been succeeded as chair by Alan Harper, who is one of Gigabit's co-founders.

The Irish Times

* The Meath-based Bellinter House is set to be sold for around €3m to Irish businessman Barry O'Sullivan and a group of private investors.

According to a report in The Irish Times the deal will be completed by Broadreach Investments, which Mr O'Sullivan controls.

Bellinter House is a 34-bed residence that was opened as a boutique hotel ten years ago.

* Liberty Global, the company that owns Virgin Media and TV3, had almost $560m in accumulated losses at its Irish businesses at the end of last year.

According to a report in The Irish Times, Liberty brought forward $558.5m in tax losses and had a tax asset of $69.8m.

The Irish figure is small when compared with the $21bn in potential tax deductions available to the firm for its Virgin Media business in the UK.

* Irish-American private equity fund Carlyle Cardinal is amongst the shortlist of bidders in line to acquire the Mater Private.

According to a report in The Irish Times the fund is among four or five other potential bidders eyeing up the hospital group.

The Dublin-based healthcare provider is expected to be valued at around €500m.

Irish Examiner

* Twitter turns 10 today with the firm reporting that five million tweets are sent every day.

However despite reaching a decade of existence the social media site is now facing uncertain times as it struggles to attract new users.

It is also unclear as to whether or not it will remove its signature 140-character limit for posting tweets.

* CHC Ireland, the company that provides helicopter search and rescue services under a state contract posted an eight-fold increase of its profits last year.

The firm, which operates the €500m state contract posted profits of €3.4m in 2015.

Revenues at the firm increased to €48.38m last year, up from €10m in 2014.

* The Confederation of British Industry has said in a major report today that the UK economy would suffer a serious shock if it leaves the EU.

The confederation said the economy would by hit even if the UK strikes a trade agreement soon after leaving the EU.

The report comes 13 weeks ahead of the UK's decision on whether or not to leave the EU.

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