Top stories in the papers this week 17 – 23 July 2012

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Payzone turnover up 5%; Wilson to review the 'Tesco Tax' weeks after it started; Flu remedies reign for consumers as bad weather takes its toll on shops



23 July 2012

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1. Payzone turnover up 5%

Irish e-payments group Payzone has reported a 5% rise in turnover to €234.3 million in the 12 months to the end of September 2011. The Irish Times reports this compares to turnover of €222.8 million for the proceeding year. According to accounts recently filed with the Companies Registration Office, profit before tax for the 12 months under review totalled €5.8 million, down from €6.2 million for the same period a year earlier. 

2. Wilson to review the ‘Tesco Tax’ weeks after it started

Northern Ireland’s finance minister is launching a review of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme, better known as the Tesco Tax, just three months after it went into operation. According to the Belfast Telegraph, Sammy Wilson has said that since April, around 8,200 small businesses, comprising 10% of business premises, have benefitted from a 20% discount on their rates, but he wanted to see if the scheme needed tweaking.

3. Flu remedies reign for consumers as bad weather takes its toll on shops

Poor weather this summer has helped see a rise in the sales of hot drinks (+1.47%) and pharmacy sales (+0.75%). According to Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), pharmacy sales picked up due to flu-related sales. However the Irish Examiner reports that overall, year-on-year sales levels fell by an average of 4.27% during the second quarter this year as it became the 13th consecutive quarter of sales decline. 

4. Landlords fear Atlantic case will set precedent

Ireland’s commercial property sector fears that the examinership of the Altantic Homecare group could set a dramatic new legal precedent. The Irish Independent reports it is feared that a successful outcome for the examiner in the Atlantic case, in which the group is set to close five outlets and divest itself of the leasehold commitments, would open the way for other retail groups to use the examinership system to dispose of expensive long leases. 

5. Government plans dairy crisis talks

The UK government is to have talks with dairy farmers following protests over the prices paid to milk suppliers. The Belfast Telegraph reports Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and Farming Minister Jim Paice were due to meet farmers, milk processors and supermarkets today at the Royal Welsh Show, in Powys, to try to resolve the crisis. The Co-operative and Morrisons had already announced rises in premiums paid for milk to farmers. 


Are pop-up shops the answer to empty high streets? (Guardian, UK)

Food prices are at the mercy of global pressures that we struggle to control (Guardian, UK) 

State seeks advisers for €600m Lotto licence sale (Irish Independent) 

DVD store reports profit of €300,000 (Irish Times) 

‘Dolphin-friendly’ tuna label irrelevant — consumer group (Evening Herald) 

Paid-for parking spaces to be expanded across city (Kilkenny People) 

£200m Derry retail plan that promises 2,800 jobs poised for green light (Belfast Telegraph) 

Bad weather blamed for poor sales (Irish Times) 

Retailers edge ahead despite rain (Belfast Telegraph) 

Rates hike scare for retailers (Limerick Post) 

Rain helps drag down inflation (Belfast Telegraph) 

Group pulls out of trying to slay the Tesco dragon (Irish Times)




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