The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 3 May 2020

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  • The Business Post reports that businesses are set to benefit from a €6.5bn rescue package
  • The Sunday Independent says Aer Lingus is to axe most of its summer flights
  • The Sunday Times reports that Irish e-commerce firm CarTrawler is in talks to raise €100m
  • The Financial Times says offices across the UK are set to stay closed for several months
  • The WSJ says the US economy shrank at an annualised rate of 4.8% in the first quarter


“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

– President Michael D. Higgins invokes the words of Cork-born activist Mary ‘Mother’ Jones during a wreath laying ceremony for frontline workers who have died in the Covid-19 pandemic.






“Businesses set for €6.5bn rescue package to save economy from collapse,” is this week’s splash. The paper reports that a €6.5bn business bailout package had been agreed in a bid to stave off a “complete collapse” in the economy resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a potential banana skin to the plan is that a crucial €2bn credit guarantee fund cannot be set up until a new government is formed.

In another front page story under the headline “Banks rule out third break on repayments” Ian Guider reports that banks will not offer a third blanket mortgage and business loan payment breaks for customers struggling due to Covid-19. The news comes after banks agreed to a second three-month payment holiday that will last until the end of September.

On page three, Roisin Burke reports that grocery delivery platform has raised €2.5m in fresh funding. Company director Eamonn Quinn, son of the late supermarket legend Fergal, tells that the paper that the money will be used to fund expansion into the UK and Europe.

On page four, Peter Dwyer reports that tenants of Dublin’s Nutgrove Shopping Centre have been told that they could face enforcement action if they fail to pay rent and service costs. This story follows a report in the Sunday Independent two weeks ago that tenants in the Omni Park shopping centre in Santry were also being threatened with legal action over unpaid rents.

One of the worst hit industries from Covid-19 is the hotel sector but that hasn’t dimmed the optimism of Pat McCann, boss of hotel group Dalata. Announcing the company’s results at a virtual AGM last week McCann said Dalata was well positioned to weather the current downturn. “We have significant cash on the balance sheet to see us through for a very long period of time,” he said.

As the government announced the gradual easing of restrictions last week, there is lots of comment and analysis of how businesses will operate post-lockdown. Peter O’Dwyer has a piece looking at the fitness and leisure industry where social distancing is likely to prove difficult. “Every second piece of machinery, like a treadmill or a spin bike, might need to be disabled,” says one gym owner.

Meanwhile, Siobhan Maguire looks at how retailers will operate alongside Covid-19. The frequent use of steamers in clothes fitting rooms and self-measuring foot kits in shoe stores are just some of what clothing and footwear stores are considering. For hairdressers, both the customer and stylist will wear masks.

In Brief

· Cavendish Capital, parent company of Irish hedge fund Abbey, saw profits fall by €4m last year

· ICON, the Dublin drug testing company, said Covid-19 had cost it almost €110m this quarter
· Monaghan forklift-maker Combilift said it would return to almost full production next week

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




“Aer Lingus to axe most summer flights as crisis deepens,” is the headline this week’s top business story. The paper reports that Aer Lingus initially hoped it could fly 15% of flights in June but has since said that 5% is more realistic. It comes at the airline said it was seeking 900 redundancies while Ryanair warned of 3,000 job losses.

Grocery delivery platform gets it second mention of the week with another top story. This time, Ferghal O’Connor reports that the firm has submitted a proposal to the Government to greatly increase its service to cocooning shoppers.

Also on the front of the business pages, it’s reported that 80% of tech start-ups could fail within six months due to lack of cash. That’s according to a survey by industry group Scale Ireland which said that 20% of start-ups could go bankrupt in the next four weeks without financial support.

In Brief

· PJ Carroll says over 200m cigarettes it sells a year will be hit by the ban on menthol cigarettes

· ESB has lodged plans for a 75 megawatt plant in Dublin to process increased renewable energy

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“CarTrawler in drive to raise €100m as pandemic hits travel” is the lead business headline in his week’s Sunday Times. Brian Carey reports that the e-commerce company, which aggregates car hire deals, is in “advanced talks” to unlock €100m in order to stabilise the business.There’s also a report on the thorny issue of business interruption insurance, Niall Brady reports that the Central Bank of Ireland has acknowledged for the first time that most policies give no cover for the coronavirus crisis. The regulator also warned that insurers could collapse if they had to pay for pandemics they had not envisaged, even though some policies clearly provide cover for Covid-19.As with the other papers, there are lots of column inches devoted to looking at how business will changes post-virus. Matt Elliott, chief people office at Bank of Ireland feels that “The ways in which we use our office will change; they’ll be more for hosting meetings and less for desk-based working” he says. Business travel is also likely to be reduced with more video conferencing. However, face-to-face meetings will make a comeback. “People still get a lot from personal interaction,” says Jim Deegan, professor of tourism policy and University of Limerick.In Brief

· Oil and gas firm San Leon Energy plans to pay a £27m dividend to shareholders

· Leading commercial law firms Philip Lee and McEvoy Corporate Law are to merge
· Irish revenues at accountants PwC grew 11% to €362m 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 >




Offices across the UK are set to remain closed for “several months” according to the cover story on the FT. In what won’t be a surprise to anybody, the paper says the government is to tell white-collar employers to keep staff working from home for months to prevent overwhelming public transport.

Also on the front page, it’s reported that Europeans are being urged to dine on “steak, cheese and french fries” to help clear the mounting piles of produce that was destined for restaurants. In Belgium, the world’s largest exporter of frozen chips, trade association Belgapom wants people to eat an extra portion of fries a week to reduce its 750,000 tonne potato surplus.

In Companies & Markets the top story is that airplane engine maker Rolls-Royce is preparing to cut up to 8,000 jobs, the biggest single reduction in more than 30 years. It comes as its customers Airbus and Boeing slashed production of aircraft to cope with plunging demand.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the US economy shrank at an annualised rate of 4.8% in the first three months of the year. According to the paper the massive contraction ends the longest economic expansion in US history.

Another four million people filed for unemployment benefit in the US last week as the economic pain caused by Covid-19 continued to deepen. It brings the total number of US jobless claims to 30m and sent the unemployment rate to a scarcely believable 12.4%.

Finally, Amazon is likely to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as one of the biggest winners judging by its most recent set of results. The company reported soaring quarterly sales last week as locked-down consumers flooded it with online shopping orders. According to the paper, the results reflect the central role Amazon has played during the crisis.


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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 Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment
A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2




© 2020 All Rights Reserved – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists

About the Author

Shay Dalton

Shay Dalton

Managing Director 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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