Top stories in the papers this week 1 – 7 January 2013

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Lottery agents assured they're still on a winner; Budget date move 'will boost Christmas shopping'; Heinz reports pre-tax profits increase to €17.9m



7 January 2013

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1. Lottery agents assured they’re still on a winner

Brendan Howlin has moved to assure retailers that profit margins on lottery tickets will remain the same under a new licence to be issued this year, the Irish Independent reports. This comes after the CSNA complained that the promise to maintain a 6% margin was not included in a new National Lottery Bill, published before Christmas. But the Minister’s spokesperson said it was more appropriate to include the rates in the licence itself instead.

2. Budget date move ‘will boost Christmas shopping’

The declaration by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin that he believes people have seen their last December Budget has been welcomed by groups including ISME and Retail Ireland on the grounds that a December Budget was a deterrent for Christmas shoppers. The Irish Independent reports the government will have to submit a draft Budget plan to the European Commission for scrutiny by 15 October, along with all other EU member states.

3. Heinz reports pre-tax profits increase to €17.9m

The Ireland-based operations of US food giant Heinz increased its pre-tax profits almost 20% to £14.6 million (€17.9 million) in the year to the end of April 2012, despite a decline in the frozen ready meals market and competition from retailers’ own-brand ranges. The Irish Times reports the company’s Irish branch recorded turnover of £97.4 million during the period, "a modest increase" on the previous year.

4. Retailers enjoying a festive lift in fortunes

Retailers reported a double-digit growth in spending for the first time since the recession, the Irish Independent reports. Keith Rogers, chairman of Retail Excellence Ireland and head of operations at the Ecco Footwear chain, said the fortunes of retailers began to improve before Christmas. He added that spending reached a high point after Christmas, partly because 2 January was a Wednesday, so many workers had taken the rest of the week off.

5. Pharmacists’ fury at photo rules

A decision to have photos for new credit card-style driving licences taken exclusively by a firm contracted by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) will have a "devastating and unfair impact on hundreds of companies", The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has said. The Sunday Independent reports that from September, consumers will have to get their photos taken exclusively at the company’s on-site locations, even though the IPU claims "many pharmacists have invested considerable sums on photographic equipment".


Total Produce acquires Oppenheimer stake (Irish Times)

Sales slump expected at Morrisons (Belfast Telegraph)

Actor causes stir in coffee war (Irish Independent)

Bruton’s new law to hit credit card fees rip-off (Evening Herald)

Topaz buys two petrol stations in the county (Mullingar Advertiser)

Small firms are bouncing along the bottom, ISME chief warns (Irish Independent)

Declan O’Brien: Supermarkets burying profits they earn from ‘Treasure Island’ (Irish Independent)

Smokers pay three times more to quit than in North (Irish Independent)

Recession sees some food businesses taking safety precautions off the menu (Irish Times)

Crash continues to bite as firms going under in 2012 rise by 3% (Irish Independent)

Tipplers face new headache as wine price rise kicks in (Irish Independent)



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