You are viewing the content for Tuesday 24 February 2015

BUSINESS

Business report: The morning business briefing

Here’s a run down of today’s business headlines.

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Greek debt plans go down to the wire as troika watches on

Draft plans for new commitments by the Greek government to win an extension of their programme were still being exchanged between Athens and Brussels last night, coming up to the midnight deadline.

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20% of Irish hotels and B&Bs failing to record a profit

One in five hotels and guesthouses are operating unsustainable business models and failing to make a profit after interest payments.

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HSBC’s pre-tax profits fall 17%

HSBC reported a 17% fall in annual pre-tax profit and cut its profitability target, saying that allegations its Swiss business had helped customers to dodge taxes had brought shame on the bank.

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Green REIT to pay maiden dividend next month

Property investment fund Green REIT will next month pay a maiden dividend to shareholders covering its first year in existence.

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Primark positive about profits

Sales growth at the Primark discount fashion chain has accelerated over the last eight weeks as falling fuel prices boost shoppers’ disposable income, Associated British Foods said yesterday.

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Revenues up at Rochestown Park Hotel

The firm that operates the four-star Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork increased its earnings in 2013 by 4% to €1.37m.

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Pharma firm Horizon to create 60 jobs over next three years

Pharmaceutical company Horizon is set to create 60 highly skilled positions in Dublin over the next three years.

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Apple plans €850m centre in west of Ireland

Apple is building an €850m data centre in the west of Ireland to power its online services including the iTunes Store, Maps, and Siri.

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Lack of investment in Irish tourism ‘hurting hotel sector’

The long-term sustainability of the tourism sector is being compromised by a lack of State investment, the hotels federation annual conference has heard.

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Kingspan eyes up Latin American push on back of latest annual growth

Kingspan has identified Latin America as the likely next step in its ongoing geographical expansion, with a presence in both Brazil and Mexico likely to be taken over the next few years.

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Economics studies to help future of Irish food

Agri-economic studies can help underpin the sustainability of Irish food production, say the creators of a new course at NUI Galway.

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Meat Industry Ireland prizes Chinese market

Meat Industry Ireland said it is to begin work as swiftly as possible on a plant audit process which will help secure access to Chinese markets for Irish beef and beef joint products.

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Irish Dairy Board rebrands corporate arm as Ornua

Ornua has been unveiled as the new corporate identity of the Irish Dairy Board, the body which markets the overseas sales of Kerrygold and related Irish dairy brands.

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Superquinn factor boosts SuperValu sales 23%

SuperValu has reported a near 23% increase in annual retail sales to €2.58bn for 2014, aided by a first year’s contribution from the 24 former Superquinn stores which the Musgrave-owned business inherited early last year.

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Unions still to be swayed by IAG bid for Aer Lingus

Unions representing workers at Aer Lingus are due to brief their shop stewards at the airline today and tomorrow to further clarify their stance on the proposed takeover of the airline by aviation group IAG.

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Bank seeks €1.5m order from former pharma chief

A bank is seeking €1.51m summary judgment orders against the former chief executive of a healthcare company, representing the maximum sum allegedly due under his limited guarantees concerning loans advanced to the firm.

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Bid to quash findings that €535k grants were irregular

A partnership set up to provide local rural, social and economic programmes in Co Meath has brought a High Court challenge aimed at quashing findings that €535,173 it made in payments to various projects were irregular and the projects were ineligible for funding.

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Sanction ruling lifted from non-executive bankers

It has been decided that rules making senior bankers in Britain more accountable for their actions will not apply to non-executive directors who do not have specific duties such as scrutinising bonuses.

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AGRI BUSINESS

US and UK rate hikes to drive euro further south

The euro has lost considerable ground since last spring as the persistence of very weak growth in the eurozone, coupled with a fall in inflation to very low levels, forced the ECB into further policy easing moves.

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