The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 10 May 2020

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THE 1% PODCAST – Joey Boland
Joey Boland, a former Dublin hurler who has been at the centre of the game over the past 15  years, chatted to us today on The 1% Podcast.  Joey won a GAA League campaign and Leinster Championship in 2013,  while narrowly missing out on an All-Ireland final place that year.
 
We discuss his playing career under the likes of Tommy Naughton and Anthony Daly
as well his career as a Physiotherapist and founder of Sports Physio Ireland. In recent weeks Boland took the decision to move his physiotherapy clinic and his team to 
an online business model,
where through a variety of on-line, interactive platforms Joey and his team work with their clients.

 

BUSINESS PAPERS – THE MAIN TALKING POINTS
  • The Business Post says workers should report employers who flout Covid-19 guidelines
  • The Sunday Independent leads with a warning of government tax hikes and spending cuts
  • The Sunday Times says Bank of Ireland is to write-off loans owed to Car Trawler
  • The Financial Times says the UK government’s furlough scheme is to be phased out gradually
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the unemployment rate in the US has surged to 14.7%
 
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
 

 

“If the demand from the public is for a bigger State, then we need to start scoping out how to pay for this”

Cliff Taylor 

 

 
 

 

THE BUSINESS POST
 

 


“Workers encouraged to report employers to HSA under Covid-19 protocols” is the headline on one of this week’s top stories. Aiden Corkery reports that Minister for Business Heather Humphries is encouraging employees who feel their employer is not doing enough to protect them from the virus to report them directly to the Health Service Authority. It comes as the government published a “Return to Work Safely Protocol” which employers and employees should follow as the country begins to reopen.

As talks on the formation of a new coalition continue, accommodation website Airbnb could be in the crosshairs of the next government, going by another front page story. Michael Brennan reports that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail plan to block Airbnb hosts from advertising their properties on the platform unless they obtain special planning permission to do so.

On page two, it’s reported that Enterprise Ireland wrote off €16m in investments in companies that took part in its 2009 business rescue scheme. The details have emerged just as the state sets up a similar scheme to help businesses at risk of closure due to Covid-19.

On page three, it’s reported that businesses are seeking a three-year freeze in the minimum wage. The call has been made by the Small Firms Association (SFA) and comes as the Low Pay Commission holds a consultation on the national minimum wage which has gone up for five years running to the current rate of €10.10 an hour. “Please do not increase the minimum wage until 2023,” said the SFA.

Some Irish tech stories and on page nine Gillian Nelis reports that Flipdish, which develops websites and apps for restaurants to offer online ordering, is extending its service to hotels seeking alternative revenue streams. Meanwhile on page 11, Killian Woods reports that Irish tech company Wia has started developing products that help firms monitor and practice social distancing in the workplace.

In another story by Woods on the same page it’s reported that the majority of employers are worried they will not have sufficient space for social distancing in the workplace. Under the headline “Most bosses fear office too small for safe working,” the report cites a survey of 300 human resource professionals by law firm Mason Hayes & Curran. The law firm says employers should carry out a risk assessment on their workplace in the coming weeks with Melanie Crowley, head of employment law at the firm warning: “If somebody catches Covid-19 in the workplace, could there be claim? Absolutely.”

There are plenty of column inches devoted to Bewley’s announcing that it was closing its doors on Grafton Street in Dublin. Gillian Nelis writes: “If restaurants could survive on nostalgia and affection, Bewley’s would be set for life, but they can’t.” Killian Woods reports that Bewley’s had sought a six-month rent holiday from its landlord, developer Johnny Ronan, but was refused.

In Brief

  • Debt restructuring at Denis O’Brien’s Digicel amounts to a default, says ratings agency Moody’s
  • Event firms MCD and Live Nation have donated the use of their venues to the HSE
  • Timbercreek Asset Management is continuing to sell down its stake in Ires Reit

 

 

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THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
 

 

 
The Sunday Independent leads with a “dire warning” that the next government will have to consider tax hikes and spending cuts to deliver an economic recovery. Under the stark headline, “Reality bites” the paper reports that the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has said that any new government will have to look at increases in property and inheritance taxes as well as the proposal to keep the state retirement age at 66.
 
A full page is devoted to the unfortunate incident involving developer Johnny Ronan who has gone viral in a video showing him mock the coronavirus pandemic. In an exclusive interview with the paper Ronan, who was seen in the video coughing and spluttering around a sign for Corona beer, says: “I’ve apologised, but we had no idea what was coming down the tracks.”
 
Onto the business pages, and the top story is that social distancing is likely to cut the capacity at Dublin Airport by 70% with passengers facing “huge queues into the car parks”. That’s according to Dublin Airport Authority CEO Dalton Philips. Philips also took a swipe at Simon Harris’ suggestion that foreign travel for the rest of the year was unlikely saying it “had not been helpful”.
 
Also on the front of the business pages, it’s reported that Irish food group Greencore, has been hit with a formal grievance from a union over claims it failed to tell staff after a manager tested positive for Covid-19. The incident is said to have occurred at the company’s facility in Northampton.
 
Some construction stories, and on page three it’s reported that the State-owned Home Building Finance Ireland has launched new measures, including a €200m fund, to support developers resume operations. On the same page the Dublin-based construction consultancy Mitchell McDermott, has warned about potential disputes over construction sector productivity as Covid-19 delays progress on sites.
 
In Brief
  • An Post is to temporarily cut parcel rates for SMEs to support the sector
  • Irish security expert Sharp Group has launched a new body-temperature scanning device

 

 

 

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THE SUNDAY TIMES
 

 

Following last week’s report that online car hire platform Car Trawler was in talks to raise €100m in equity, this week it’s reported that Bank of Ireland could be forced to write-off up to 50% of its share of the company’s €140m loans. It comes as Car Trawler has seen its business collapse due to Covid-19.

KMPG has confirmed its position as the top dog of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms in Ireland with its latest set of results. The company announced that it had booked revenues of €458m in 2019, 11% more than in the previous year.

In the main paper, it’s reported that priests in the Dublin diocese have been given pay cuts of 25% from this month due to the collapse in church income. In case you were wondering, the piece says that curates in Dublin were paid €23,218 a year, while parish priests and administrators receive an annual salary of €27,873.

In Brief

  • Insurance broker Arachas is buying O’Driscoll O’Neil, another intermediary
  • Revenue at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin collapsed by 60% in March compared to last year
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland spent €1.9m investigating members over the past five years
 
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
 

 

 
THE FINANCIAL TIMES 
 

 

 

 

“Furlough phase-out plan takes shape,” is the lead headline on this week’s FT. As the UK prepares to return to work, the paper reports that the government is looking at the return of some furloughed workers on a part-time basis.

In Companies & Markets it’s reported that Hertz, the car rental group, has staved off bankruptcy after striking a deal with lenders to extend a crucial repayment deadline. However the deal may not be enough to save the group as the deadline was only extended to 22 May.

Disney has scrapped guidance for the rest of the year and suspended its dividend. In what is described as “a glimpse of just how much the pandemic has ravaged Disney’s business” it said net income for the first three months for the year dropped 91% to $475m.

 

 
The FT is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
 

 

 
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

 

 

“Decade of job gains erased in April” is the headline on this week’s Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that the unemployment rate in the US has surged to 14.7% as the coronavirus pandemic wiped out a decade of jobs gains in a single month.
Ride-sharing platform Uber has said it was cutting about 14% of its workforce while rival Lyft said it would cut staff numbers by 17%. “The pandemic has challenged the very business model that supercharged Uber and Lyft,” write the authors of the piece.
Finally, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has abandoned plans to build a so-called “smart city” in a suburb of Toronto. Alphabet had poured hundreds of millions into the idea, but decided to call a halt of the project citing economic uncertainty and pressure on the local property market.

 

 

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All views are strictly my own brief interpretation of the articles in the various publications and not intended to be comprehensive. 
Please feel free to forward to friends or colleagues and get in touch if you wish to add contacts to the mailing list.
 
Stay safe & well.
Shay

 

 
 
Shay Dalton 
 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment
E: sdalton@lincoln.ie
A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

 

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About the Author

Shay Dalton

Shay Dalton

Managing Director

sdalton@lincoln.ie+353 16498583

Shay Dalton is the Managing Director of Lincoln Recruitment Group. Shay is a qualified ACCA Accountant with over 20 years’ experience specialising in the placement of senior positions across a broad spectrum of Accountancy and Finance positions within the industrial and financial services sectors. Having been involved in the establishment of some of the most respected financial recruitment brands in the Irish market, Shay subsequently set up Lincoln Recruitment Specialists in 2008. He also hold’s an MSc in Organisational Management and is a member of BPS, qualified to conduct and interpret psychometric testing as well an EQi testing.

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