The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 25 April 2021

April 26


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The 1% Podcast
We pulled together a short recap episode for you this week, featuring some clips from some of the best moments in the podcast’s seventh season, where I spoke to
  • Gary Keegan
  • Dan Hill, PhD
  • Dr David Coleman
  • Pat Byrne and
  • Patrick McKeown
·   The Business Post says up-for-sale Davy is telling bidders it made €70m in profits last year
·   The Sunday Independent says digital bank N26 is to offer loan and overdraft products
·   The Sunday Times reports on a shareholder backlash at the pay of Flutter CEO Peter Jackson
·   The Financial Times reports that UK borrowing is at its highest level since World War II
·   The Wall Street Journal says the global chip shortage could last for another two years
 “We can’t stop here.” 
— President Biden on the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd.
“Davy boasts of €70m in profits as potential buyers circle,” is the splash on the cover of this week’s Business Post. Barry J Whyte and Lorcan Allen report that the embattled stockbroking firm is telling potential bidders it made nearly €70m in profits last year driven by a boom in its corporate financing business. The story notes Davy is known to pay around 40% of its profits in staff bonuses, meaning employees at the firm shared more than €25m last year.
Turning to Covid and in another front page story it’s reported we will be able to enjoy outdoor drinks and dining from June with indoor dining and inter-county travel possible in July. It comes as Mícheál Martin is expected to address the nation on Thursday to reveal the path out of lockdown.
Turning to page four and Barry J Whyte reports that Kingspan, the Irish building materials group, enjoyed a spike in sales, despite the bad press the company has received over the Grenfell Tower fire. He writes that Kingspan “unexpectedly announced” that sales had jumped 24% in the three months to March 31 to €1.28bn.
There is lots of comment and analysis on last week’s disastrous launch of the breakaway European Super League involving Europe’s top 15 clubs. Vincent Boland writes that the “cartel style” league would have destroyed the structure, finances and traditions of European football and was “yet another instance of how the world’s favourite sport has become enslaved by its own popularity.”
On page 10 Rosanna Cooney has an interesting report about an Irish company that has developed a “wearable social distancing” device to help offices, factories and retailers get employees back into workplace. Telecoms firm Hubbcat has developed a clip-on device which alerts employees if they are not social distancing and also keeps a record of close contacts if there is a confirmed case of Covid in the workplace.
In brief
·       87% of people believe repercussions for corporate wrongdoing are not severe enough
·       Ireland paid €605m in interest on the bilateral bailout loan it received from the UK in 2011
The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“N26 plans to exploit gap in the banking markets,” heads up the Sunday Independent’s top business story. Ferghal O’Connor reports that the German digital bank is planning to capitalise on the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market by offering new credit, loan and overdraft products. It also said it hopes to offer mortgages in Ireland in the coming years.
Also on the front of the business pages it’s reported that Citibank expects to see strong growth at its Dublin operation as more business transfers from London due to Brexit. Limerick-born boss of Citigroup Europe Cecilia Ronan said she expected the bank’s Irish balance sheet to grow by at least another 20% after jumping from €20bn to €70bn in just four years.
Some construction news and British construction firms have been “poaching” Irish-based construction workers currently out of work due to Covid restrictions in Ireland. “We’ve been losing skilled workers, especially carpenters, dryliners and façade specialists,” says Mick Flynn of Flynn Construction.
In brief
·   Ryanair is set to pull routes from Rome, Paris and Brussels due to hotel quarantine regulations
·   Cantor Fitzgerald has picked up the lion’s share of Davy’s bond business say market sources
·   Only one in five Irish companies has a “right to disconnect” policy according to a new survey
·   Irish drinks maker VitHit has landed a series of major international distribution deals
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Flutter faces revolt on chief’s pay rise,” heads up the Sunday Times’ top business story. Linda Daly reports that Flutter is facing a “shareholder backlash” at its AGM this week over plans to increase the pay of ceo Peter Jackson.
Also this week it’s reported that online medical education specialist iheed plans to create 80 jobs after being acquired by the UK-based Cambridge Education Group. Set up in 2014, iheed designs and delivers post-graduate education online for medical schools.
Niall Brady reports that profits at Bank of America halved to $215m after tax last year. The US lender, which moved its EU hub to Dublin due to Brexit, reported that the pandemic crisis led to a three-fold increase in the charge for loan impairments to $439m.
In brief
·   Australian pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse has signed a 10-year lease on a Henry St store
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
The FT is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here > 
The global microchip supply crunch could last for another two years according to one of the top stories in this week’s Wall Street Journal. The paper reports on comments by Pat Gelsinger, ceo of Intel, who said that the supply shortage would continue until more production capacity comes on stream to meet increased demand.
Also this week, Coca-Cola said it sales volume in March returned to pre-pandemic levels as the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines allowed more people to eat out again. Coke sales had plummeted in the past 12 months due to restaurants, cinemas and other venues being closed around the world.
Finally, Apple hosted its first big event of the year last week where it announced the launch of a raft of new products. The tech giant unveiled upgraded iPads and iMacs, a subscription podcast service as well as a new wireless AirTag device which allows iPhone users to track their gadgets and belongings.
The WSJ is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here > 
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.
Have a good week,
Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists 
T: +353 1 661 0444
M: 086-8562176
A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2
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