In the papers this week 4 – 9 Apr 2009

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Inflation fell 2.6% in March; IBEC calls emergency budget "tough but fair", Londis pre-tax profits slip €2m on last year, Dawn Meats to cut jobs at Midleton plant

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9 April 2009 | 0

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Reports and analysis of government’s ‘emergency budget’ preoccupied most of the dailies this week.

Jim O’Leary of The Irish Times was critical of the plan, saying that it fails to make significant inroads to save the flagging Irish economy, which is likely to contract by 8% this year.

The Irish Independent however, reports that IBEC is supporting the ‘mini budget’, with director general Turlough O’Sullivan describing it as “tough but fair”.

In The Irish Times this morning, the annual rate of inflation fell 2.6% in March, with consumer goods prices showing no change on the previous month. Inflation has been in negative growth since January and is expected to average at -4% this year.

ADM Londis’ pre-tax profits slipped to €4.1 million for 2008, compared to €6.1 million in 2007. CEO Stephen O’Riordan told The Irish Times that the dwindling presence of ‘breakfast roll man’ and the prevalence of cross-border alcohol shopping have taken their toll on sales.

Meanwhile, The Irish Examiner reports that Londis is set to close 5% of its stores this year, in response to the current economic conditions. While only one new store was bought last year, any new purchases going forward will be “dependent on property values and the flow of bank credit to the retail sector” the report said.

Also in The Irish Examiner this week, SIPTU and the management at Dawn Meats met with the Labour Relations Committee to discuss job losses at the Midleton plant. SIPTU told the paper the company planned to move jobs from the boning hall at the Cork site to other locations in Ireland and England.

Global giant Coca-Cola boosted its nutrition credentials this week when it bought a £30 million minority stake in UK smoothie-maker Innocent. The London-based company says it plans to use the investment to expand its European offering. Innocent currently sells products in 13 countries, reports the Irish Independent.

BP chairman Peter Sutherland faced calls for his resignation amid claims his senior role at Royal Bank of Scotland raises doubts over his suitability, reports The Sunday Business Post. Consultant PIRC, whose clients hold around £1 trillion in assets under management, said shareholders should vote against his re-election at next week’s annual meeting.

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found that Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit cancer patients undergoing major operations. The Irish Independent reports that the university’s oesophageal research group have discovered the essential compounds can preserve muscle mass in patients undergoing surgery for oesophageal cancer.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) upheld Tesco’s complaint last month about the Competition Commission’s proposed ‘competition test.’ This deemed local planners would have to consider the number of competing grocery outlets in an area before giving a new store the go-ahead. However, now CAT has bounced the matter back to the Commission, which has six months to refine its proposal, says The Guardian.

Bord Bia recently published statistics that the value of organic sales in Ireland stands at more than €100m; a growth of 82% since July 2006. However, according to TNS Worldpanel data in The Daily Express, organics in the UK haven’t fared so well. Organic bread plunged 31%, fruit fell 16.5% and vegetables 9.1% over 12 months to February.

Coca-Cola landed itself in hot water this week over an Australian “myth-busting”  campaign. An ad featuring Australian actress Kerry Armstrong stated, "Myth. Makes you fat; Myth. Rots your teeth; Myth. Packed with caffeine." However the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is not convinced, according to The Financial Times. The watchdog has forced Coca-Cola to publish "corrective" ads in seven Australian national and state newspapers.

 

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