This Week: April 2012
Riverdance still making waves; Dairygold profits rise to the top: Gallagher’s Phoenix Park Racecourse falls at first hurdle; fishing industry comes on in leaps; and Irish Times has £270,000 surplus.
10 years ago
The Digital Hub, a €250mn partly government-sponsored digital media/urban renewal project, has been hailed as one of the outgoing government’s most prestigious flagship schemes. However, controversy surrounding a sister project; a perceived lack of vision and the impact of ambitious foreign competitors mean the project has gone a little flat.
Riverdance, the show based on traditional Irish music and dance, is likely to have grossed $700mn in revenues by 2004, when it will be 10 years in existence, according to one of its two shareholders, John McColgan.
Examiner group parent Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH) is understood to have the Meath Chronicle in its sights as its next possible takeover target. Fresh from clinching a deal with Trinity Mirror to buy the Sunday Business Post for €10mn, the Irish Examiner publisher looks likely to stay on the acquisition trail.
Ardagh plc, which earlier this week confirmed the closure of its Irish Glass-manufacturing plant in Ringsend, held tentative discussions with the Sean Quinn Group about acquiring the northerner’s glass making operation in Co Fermanagh. The discussions came to nothing as both differed wildly on price.
20 years ago
Eighteen months after the biggest Irish co-op merger ever, Dairygold has finally published its first full-year results. Profits have risen by almost 80% and the co-op is unborrowed, but operating margins still lag behind its rivals. . . The past 18 months have been unhappy ones for Denis Lucey. Having to axe 376 jobs at Dairygold Co-op does not sit easily with him. The prospect of axing another 64 jobs by the end of the year makes him even more concerned.
The IBOA could lose over £500,000 of its annual subscription income of £1.5mn if it persists with disciplinary action against the estimated 6,000 members who worked during the three-week bank dispute. The cut is likely to accelerate the IBOA’s application for ICTU membership.
The sale of six UMP meat plants by receiver John Donnelly for an estimated £10.5mn may put the Irish beef industry back on its feet but it leaves behind a £50mn deficit, the bulk of which is owed to eight banks.
Tribune publishing group chairman Gordon Colleary is “hopeful” that the company can raise nearly £1.4mn to keep the company afloat following the relaunch of the flagship Sunday Tribune title.
30 years ago
Business & Finance reveals this week that it was the development of Phoenix Park Racecourse and the redevelopment of Straffan House that led the banks to end months of speculation about the financial state of the Gallagher Group . . . Gallagher bought the (Phoenix Park) site last autumn, strictly against the advice of his bankers, and proceeded to “pour £4.5mn into the ground”.
As far as the banks were concerned, Phoenix Park Racecourse was unviable as a commercial venture.
The state of the audio-visual market was put rather forcibly in the presence of Posts and Telegraphs Minister John Wilson last week. Paddy Wright, chairman of the trade’s pressure group, spelled out the decline of the industry, the virtual disappearance of manufacturing and the uncompetitiveness of the products.
Irish inflation has been well above the European average, so an EEC price increase that might be acceptable to most European farmers is not enough to close the gap for Irish farmers, Business and Finance reports. The EEC would never contemplate raising farm prices by a greater amount in one member state because of the community principle of competition.
40 years ago
Despite record exports of £59mn in 1971, the Irish meat industry – a vital element in the economy – is in serious difficulties. The Cork Marts subsidiary IMP has recently revealed an enormous loss of £730,000 for the 13 months to January 31 last, while other factories around the country have been forced to lay off workers and to seek financial assistance from the government in order to remain in business.
A revaluation of fixed assets by the Irish Times has thrown up a surplus of £270,000 over and above the stated book value of £236,000. It will be used to write down goodwill from the January 1, 1972 level to £295,695. Early year increases in advertising and selling prices have not impacted on the company which is currently reporting a worthwhile increase in revenue. However, the decision to postpone the introduction of Vat from March to November will hit profitability.
The fishing industry is continuing to show a healthy increase in landings each year. In 1971, the value of the seafish catch (excluding salmon) was £4.2mn, an increase of 7% over £3.9mn for 1970.
The first stage in the building of the Central Bank’s money making complex in Sandyford is in operation. By the end of 1973, it will be printing its own notes.