Wednesday 24 January 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

* Dublin’s Regency Hotel, scene of the assassination of David Byrne on February 5th last, has been suffering heavy financial losses since the shooting, the High Court was told today.

James McGettigan, director of Regan Development Ltd which trades as the Regency Hotel Group, said in a sworn statement that the hotel had suffered immense reputational damage and loss of business in the weeks which followed the shooting, in which two people were also wounded.

He said the viability of the trade and the livelihoods of staff had been undermined since the hotel was the source of wanton violence, when a group of at least four armed men had entered the premises as a boxing weigh-in was taking place.

* Global shares largely recovered their early losses yesterday evening in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Brussels, but travel and leisure stocks were badly affected.

Air France-KLM Group, Ryanair and hotel operator Accor slipped 3.3pc or more, dragging travel and leisure shares to the worst performance on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

But by late in the afternoon, stocks overall had managed to recover from sharper losses and bonds and gold eased back from their earlier highs.

* The value of new construction projects in Ireland surged 68pc last year as activity in the sector continued to pick up.

According to a new report from Construction Information Services (CIS) which measures activity in the property sector, builders broke ground on 2,213 new projects worth €5.6bn during 2015. That is a huge increase on 2014's 1,437 projects.

But the number of new homes being built is far below the levels needed to ease the housing crisis, with less than half the number of new homes needed being built at present.

The Irish Times

* The Central Bank has denied its contentious loan caps will neither relieve or add to the shortage of homes in Ireland.

The bank said that the caps are necessary as it says commercial banks and mortgage holders are unable to hold reasonable credit standards on their own.

According to a report in The Irish Times the bank also said the rules would add to a shift towards rental accommodation.

* The shootings at the Regency Hotel in Dublin, the scene of where David Byrne was shot in February, has suffered significant financial losses after the shooting.

Regan development director James McGettigan told the High Court on Tuesday of the serious reputational damage the hotel had suffered.

The hotel is looking for indemnity off its insurer Aviva, however the court ruled yesterday the matter wasn't urgent and postponed the application until April.

* Irish homebuilder Cairn Homes has raised €168.9m through the issuance of 157.6m new shares at a cost of €1.12 each.

Shares in the London-listed firm closed down 4pc yesterday at €1.14 with the announcement of the capital raising not being made until after the market closed.

Cairn floated in London last June and raised some €440m in the process.

Irish Examiner

* The man behind the celebrated Louis Copeland brand yesterday credited the 'Conor McGregor' effect with helping his business record a steady increase in revenues last year.

Working in the family business since he was eight years old, Louis Copeland (66) said yesterday that the business last year recorded a profit after "a steady increase in revenue".

Copeland credited the 'McGregor effect' with more young people now buying suits as a contributor to the up-turn in business last year.

* Dublin-headquartered financial services group IFG says it is well positioned to build on a year in which its revenue beat market expectations.

The firm reported revenue of £71.3m (€90.3m) last year, representing a 7pc increase on 2014 and a 2pc increase on analysts forecasts.

Operating profits at the company increased by 49pc to £9.8m, up marginally on what analysts had expected for the year.

* Dublin-based travel software firm Datalex sees China as its main avenue for growth with demand for the region growing amongst the middle-class.

The company said its 2015 performance was boosted by both adding new customers and growing its services to its existing customers.

In 2015 Datalex added JetBlue Airways and Beibu Gulf, its third customer from China.

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