Sunday 25 February 2018

Gaines creates 15 jobs at new facility

PET food manufacturer Gaines has opened a new production facility in Arklow, Co Wicklow, and announced the creation of 15 jobs.

Its parent company, Rondo Food, has invested €6m in the facility, which will bring total Irish employment at Gaines to 85 by 2015.

The company says the move should double exports.

It exported €6.5m worth of goods in 2012 and expects a jump to €8.2m this year.

Rondo said pet food was a highly dynamic industry, growing by 5pc every year internationally.

Rondo Food plans to invest another €2.5m for additional production lines at the Arklow facility if successful in the initial stage of expansion.

The Irish business will continue to trade as Gaines (Europe) Limited. The Arklow plant is to be a flagship facility within the international Rondo Network.

KINGFISHER'S LEAD MARKET IN DOUBT

HOME IMPROVEMENT

KINGFISHER, Europe's largest home-improvement retailer and a key competitor to Ireland's Grafton Group, said its key French market remained a source of doubt, while early signs of a UK recovery could take as long as nine months to translate into improving sales.

"In France and some other parts of the world, there is still quite a lot of uncertainty," said chief executive Ian Cheshire, after the company reported little-changed first-half earnings.

Recent increases in UK mortgage approvals have yet to translate into "big shifts" in store takings, he said.

Kingfisher gets more than half its earnings from France, where it owns the Castorama and Brico Depot chains.

Figures yesterday showed French industrial production unexpectedly fell in July, suggesting economic growth may slow in the current quarter.

OLYMPICS DOUBLES INTEREST IN TOKYO BAY

PROPERTY

VISITORS to apartment showrooms in the Tokyo Bay area, where the Olympic Village will be built, doubled after the city was selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games, according to Japan's biggest developer.

The number of groups who visited Mitsubishi Estate's showroom at a 49-story apartment block in the area had doubled to 60 by the end of last week, when the decision was made public. The units are priced from about €375,000 upwards.

Tokyo's winning bid to host the Games is a boost to a real-estate market that's showing signs of a rebound amid efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revive the world's third-largest economy.

The capital is planning its biggest housing complex in 42 years to lodge athletes in an area called Harumi. "The phone just kept ringing," said a real-estate spokesperson.

BRITAIN AT RISK OF PROPERTY BOOM

HOUSING

BRITAIN runs the risk of a property boom as the economy starts to recover, according to Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins.

"We are seeing probably a more buoyant housing market for the first time in perhaps as much as a decade," Mr Jenkins said.

"That's a bit concerning because there is the risk of a property-driven boom in the UK.

"The regulators are on it and don't intend to let it happen, but these things can be difficult to control."

A UK house-price gauge rose to the highest in almost seven years in August as the economic recovery gathered pace and government measures intended to ease the supply of mortgages boosted demand, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said yesterday.

IRISH ENGINEERS IMPRESS HYDER

RECRUITMENT

ENGINEERING group Hyder Consultancy is so impressed with the quality of Irish engineers that it has launched an Irish recruitment drive for a Qatar-based project.

The company is looking for Irish engineers to join its team in Doha, Qatar, to work on a five-year project that will develop major roads and drainage projects in the city in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Hyder said it had previously employed a number of Irish engineers for the project and was very impressed with their skills.

The firm has 4,000 employees and has worked on some iconic projects, including the world's tallest building – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It said the Doha contract would match these in scale.

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS TO 7.7PC IN UK

INTEREST RATES

BRITAIN'S unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest since late last year, adding to speculation that the Bank of England may raise interest rates earlier than it had predicted.

Unemployment dipped to 7.7pc in the three months ending in July. The bank had set a target of 7pc in its decision about raising interest rates. It suggested that this wouldn't happen before the third quarter of 2016, but the markets are betting it will be before this.

The news caused a jump in the pound to its strongest level against the dollar in seven months yesterday, while the difference between British and German government borrowing costs widened back to the highest level in three years.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the fall in unemployment.

Irish Independent

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