Top stories in the papers this week 24 – 30 July 2010

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Profits up 12% to €3m at Barry group; Five-year-old boy wins €7,500 for defamation from Lidl; Dunnes Stores looks to next generation in face of big challenges



29 July 2010

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1. Profits up 12% to €3m at Barry group

The Barry Group has announced an increase in pretax profits to €3 million for 2009; up 12% on 2008 results. While sales turnover reported in the financial year ending January 31st 2010, fell from €212.5 million in 2008 to €207 million in 2009; the Irish Times reports the Cork-based wholesaler attributed its rise in profits to “aggressive management of its cost base and prudent management of credit risk.” The paper also reported on the group’s plans to further expand its Buy Lo and Carry Out chains.

2. Five-year-old boy wins €7,500 for defamation from Lidl

A boy (5) who was wrongly accused of stealing a bag of crisps in a his local Lidl store in Balbriggan, Dublin, has won €7,500 damages for defamation of character. The Irish Times reports Barrister Alison McIntyre told the Circuit Civil Court that Tadhg Mooney was falsely imprisoned and assaulted when a shop assistant grabbed his arm. The court was also told that Tadhg, who is now aged six, had been caused to suffer distress, inconvenience and injury to his credit and reputation.

3. Dunnes Stores looks to next generation in face of big challenges

Despite squashing rumours that the Irish-owned group would be acquired by Asda last year; Dunnes Stores still faces significant challenges according to an Irish Independent report this week. The paper calculates that Dunnes’ turnover is likely to be around the €2bn mark. On a 9% profit margin, which is estimated to be what rival Tesco operates on here, this would equate to a profit of about €180m, but “the real figure is almost certainly less”. With no centralised distribution, and supermarket price wars forcing prices down, it is speculated Dunnes’ profit margin has “come under pressure.”

4. Founder of Aldi supermarket dies

Theo Albrecht, whose expansion of no-frills Aldi grocery stores made him Germany’s third-richest man, has died at 88. The Irish Times reports Albrecht passed away in the western Germany city of Essen on 24 July. The reclusive billionaire, who also owned Trader Joe’s stores in the US, had reportedly been ill since a fall a year ago and was buried in a private ceremony. Aldi’s global expansion resulted in the combined fortune of Theo and his 90-year-old brother Karl, topping $40 billion in 2010, making Theo and Karl the 31st and 10th richest people in the world.

5. Potatoes remain golden wonder as sales top €136 million annually

The floury Irish spud is still the carbohydrate of choice for Irish consumers, according to new research from Bord Bia. The Irish Examiner reports shoppers spend €136 million a year in the overall retail potato market in Ireland and most of it is on home-grown varieties. The study also revealed 52% of households eat one portion of potatoes a day and one in three people eat two portions. What’s more, 69% of consumers agree that potatoes are the best tasting carbohydrate, compared with only 13% for rice and 11% for pasta.

6. Shell posts 15% jump in profits

Royal Dutch Shell today posted a 15% increase in second quarter profit on the back of increased production and higher oil prices. The Irish Times reports Shell’s net income rose to $4.39 billion from $3.82 billion a year earlier, and followed a record loss for the company’s close rival BP after it had to set aside $30 billion earlier this week to pay for cleanup costs and liabilities arising from the Macondo well disaster. Shell is set  targeting hard-to-reach rock formations in Australia, China and the US, as well as projects in Qatar, to boost production growth.


Airtricity signs €25m Musgrave deal (Irish Times)

Delivering the goods for online retailers (Sunday Tribune)

Dan White: Takeover by banks means Arnotts is set to be put on market (Evening Herald)

Lower service charges could help save Cork jobs (Irish Examiner)

Farmers at the bottom of the food price spiral (Irish Examiner)

Developer seeks to quash Gormley’s site designation (Irish Times)

Irish slow to shop using mobile phone (Irish Times)



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