The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 28 February 2021

April 9


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The 1% Podcast
Performance Improvement Lessons From a Leading Sleep Expert
Pat Byrne has pioneered sleep and fatigue programs for athletes, sports teams and workplaces. He is the co-author of ‘Inconvenient Sleep: Why Teams Win and Lose’, where he uses his expertise to outline the impact of sleep on performance using history of sleep science and decades of research in the area. The book explores the facts and myths behind sleep, sleep science, and sleep monitoring. 
He has over 30 years of experience in risk management, performance optimisation and health and safety. The sporting Organisations Pat has worked with include the National Olympic Committee, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Australian Football League and the National Hockey League.
Tune in as we explore the evolution of sleep science, how to improve sleep quality and how understanding your body’s natural rhythm can help you to improve your own performance, whether personal, business or athletic.
  • The Business Post says Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohue have clashed over tax plans for remote workers
  • The Sunday Independent reports on claims by Cork firm Everseen that its technology was stolen by Walmart
  • The Sunday Times says Colony Credit Real Estate wants to exit Johnny Ronan’s Docklands project
  • The FT says a Canadian pension fund chief has quit after going to the UAE for a Covid vaccine
  • The WSJ reports that Twitter is to introduce a subscription service for content creators
“I did what any husband and what any father would do – I needed to get my family out of here.”
— Prince Harry explains his motivations for leaving the UK to chat show host James Corden.
“Varadkar and Donohue clash over tax break plans for remote workers,” heads up the top story in this week’s Business Post. Michael Brennan reports that the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohue are involved in a “stand-off” over Varadkar’s plans to introduce new incentives to promote remote working. According to the story, Donohue is worried about the damage the practice could do to cities and the career development of young workers. 
Also on the front page, Aiden Corkery reports that Irish shoppers are facing higher prices due to Brexit. It comes on foot of a warning from food industry group FoodDrinkEurope which said many of its members – which include food giants such as Nestle, Unilever and Danone – are facing an “urgent and alarming situation” with tariffs of up to 30% being levied on foods being routed through the UK to Ireland. As Corkery’s piece explains, the tariffs are due to the “rule of origin” provision in the Brexit deal which means that products which exit EU territory before re-entering it are treated as if they are from a foreign country with no trade deal with the EU.
Turning to page three, and Aaron Rogan reports that the Football Association of Ireland is looking for a share of the spoils from the gambling levy. Under the headline “FAI asks for share of betting tax to help clear €70m debt pile,” Rogan writes that the FAI believes it should get a cut of the revenue generated by the tax because of the proportion of bets made on football.
It was a big news week in the Irish media industry with the news that Denis O’Brien was selling off his radio assets to German media company Bauer. Ian Guider writes that O’Brien has made “spectacular losses” on Irish media ventures but adds that he can at least now turn his attention to his debt-laden Jamaican telecoms firm Digicel.
Turning to page seven and Killian Woods reports that over a dozen businesses are backing a campaign to pedestrianise Merrion Row in Dublin city. In a submission to Dublin city council BOOMR (Business Owners and Operators of Merrion Row) claims that pedestrianising the street would create a “cultural carpet” linking Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square.
As the vaccine rollout continues, there is an interesting piece hidden away on page eight of the Post Plus section written by employment lawyer Joanne Hyde on the challenges the rollout means for employers. Hyde advises that as it currently stands, employers cannot require their staff to be vaccinated but will have to carry out risk assessments and develop contingency plans where some, but not all, of their employees are vaccinated. “I would advise employers to keep on top of the various issues that may arise in the workplace as a result of the vaccine rollout and to continue to be flexible in order to maintain a safe workplace,” says Hyde.
In brief
·   Irish nutrition group Glanbia reported profits of €144m on €1.13bn in revenue for 2020
·   McDonalds Ireland paid out €163m in dividends to its parent company over the last five years
·   ICON, the clinical trials company, said it will add thousands of new jobs in the next year
·   Australian software company CIM will increase its headcount by 85 over the next three years
The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Cork firm Everseen accuses Walmart of stealing technology,” is the headline over the Sunday Independent’s top business story. Jonathan Keane reports that Everseen, which develops technology to improve efficiencies at self-service checkouts, is suing US retail giant Walmart for using confidential and proprietary information about its technology.
Also on the front of this week’s business pages, Sean Pollack reports that Intercom, the Irish-founded customer messaging platform valued at over $1bn, is to hire 100 people in Dublin this year. The planned roles will be in product design and engineering.
Turning to the inside pages, and there’s another report warning of complications arising out of the Brexit deal. This time its toy distributors who are facing headaches after the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said that they will be deemed the “EU importer” of toys that come through the UK, even where they originated in another EU country. The problem lies in the fact that a UK toy wholesaler’s address will no longer be accepted as the contact point for EU product safety marks.
In brief
·   Jonathan Shaw, CEO of Shaws Department Stores, is stepping down from his position
·   Hong Kong cryptocurrency firm is setting up operations in Ireland
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Pandemic pushes Ronan skyscraper lender to seek exit,” is the headline over the top business story in the Sunday Times. Brian Carey reports that Colony Credit Real Estate, the US debt fund, has written down the value of loans it advanced to purchase the Dockland’s site which developer Johnny Ronan plans to build a 45-storey residential tower on. According to Carey’s piece, the fund also told investors that it would prefer to exit the project altogether.
Some more property stories and Glenveagh Properties has said it expects to construct 1,150 homes in 2021 – if the government lifts Covid-19 restrictions on April 5. Separately, Dublin city council has refused planning permission for a 12-storey shared-living project near Connolly Station on the grounds that it would constitute overdevelopment.
Turning to banking and Niall Brady reports that Ulster Bank is asking all new customers to confirm their understanding that the bank is pulling out of Ireland. According to the piece, the move is designed to stop customers from complaining that Ulster took their business whilst knowing it planned to close in the coming years.
In brief
· Clothing company Regatta Great Outdoors posted sales of €18.2m at its Irish unit last year
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 > 
This week’s Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter is going to introduce a subscription service for content creators and is also going to explore a “tipping” function as it looks to increase revenues. The social media company said the subscription service, which will be called “Super Follows”, will give people an opportunity to receive payments for their content.
Staying with tech, and Airbnb posted a steep annual loss in its first earnings as a public company. The accommodation sharing website posted an eye-watering €3.9bn loss in the final three months of 2020 compared to a loss of $351m in the same period last year.
Finally, Facebook has said that it will spend at least $1bn over the next three years to license material from news publishers. The pledge comes amid a firestorm of controversy over social media companies not paying news organisations for content that appears on their platforms.
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 & stay safe. 
Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists 
T: +353 1 661 0444
M: 086-8562176
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About the Author

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