Top stories in the papers this week 4 – 10 September 2012

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Retailers telling porkies to be named and shamed; Britvic eyes Irn-Bru; Total Produce profits down 6% despite rise in revenues



10 September 2012

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1. Retailers telling porkies to be named and shamed

Retailers who label imported pork products as Irish are to be exposed as part of a crackdown by agri-food groups. The Irish Examiner reports the IFA and Bord Bia have enlisted DNA firm Identigen to test rashers, sausages, and cooked ham, to trace the genetic fingerprint of any suspected pork imports against a national "boar" database. Ten experts have begun sampling products from supermarkets, butchers, and restaurants. 

2. Britvic eyes Irn-Bru

Britvic has been in talks with Irn-Bru maker AG Barr about a £1.3 billion merger, The Irish Times reports. The soft drinks companies said the proposed merger would have “compelling industrial logic”. Meanwhile, last week Britvic Ireland withdrew two batches of its Ballygowan products from sale across the island of Ireland; 750ml plastic bottles of still Ballygowan water and 1 litre bottles of still Ballygowan sports water as a “precautionary" safety measure.

3. Total Produce profits down 6% despite rise in revenues

Total Produce’s interim results showed a 5% increase in total revenues but profits before tax were down 6% to €20.4m. The Irish Examiner reports that the company, which grows, sources, and supplies fresh produce to retailers and wholesalers, said its strong results were as a result of acquisitions over the past year. These cancelled out Total Produce’s offloading of its 50% interest in fruit distribution firm, Capespan International Holdings.  

4. Examiner appointed to award-winning food firm

Neil Hughes has been appointed interim examiner of McEvoy Family Foods Ltd, the award winning food producer, which got into financial difficulty over unmanageable start-up debts. The Irish Times reports Justice Peter Charleton has appointed Hughes 70 days in which to save the company. The group also produces fresh soups, sauces and garlic breads as “own brand” products for Superquinn, Musgraves, Supervalu and Lidl.

5. Irish group to operate Starbucks stores

Entertainment Enterprises, the entertainment and restaurant group run by brothers Colum and Ciarán Butler, has taken on the operation of all 27 Starbucks outlets in the Republic. The Irish Times reports that the brothers previously operated 10 of the outlets under licence, with the US multinational directly operating the rest. Another store operated by Entertainment Enterprises is due to open shortly in the Stillorgan Shopping Centre, Dublin.


DCC to acquire Statoil businesses (Irish Times) 

The sale season for wines (Irish Times) 

Supermarkets ‘playing Russian roulette with farm viability‘ (Irish Times) 

Puff, a magic answer to Irish trade crime: cigarettes at €4 (Irish Times) 

OFT review into price of petrol (Belfast Telegraph)

M&S’s new concept store alone will not revive brand (Irish Times)

Shares up by 4% on quarterly results as soup company serves up more products (Irish Times)

Mixed commercial property portfolio for €2.3m (Irish Times)

Cork towns to be part of consumer sentiment survey (Cork Man)

Customs vow to smash five gangs who control Ireland’s black market (The Sun)

Group calls for VAT cut for tourism services (Irish Times)

Competition Authority moves after Eason’s acquires rival (Irish Times)




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