Wednesday, October 03 08:14:29
Tax revenues grew strongly last month, possibly signalling the reversal of a trend towards faltering tax returns that began in the spring. September tax receipts were one-eighth higher this year compared to the same month last year. This followed two consecutive months of shrinking revenues. For the first nine months of the year, total tax revenues stood at E26.1 billion, up E2,020 million (or 8.4 per cent) on the same period last year. When adjusted for one-off factors, the underlying increase was somewhat smaller, at an estimated 6.2 per cent year on year Revenues also exceeded Department of Finance projections for the nine-month period, coming in E385 million (1.5 per cent) ahead of forecasts.
Income tax - the largest source of tax revenue - was E101 million (1 per cent) ahead of projections at the end of September, and is up just over 9.5 per cent year on year on an adjusted basis. Value added tax - the second-biggest revenue source - was E94 million (1.1 per cent) ahead of target for the first nine months of the year cumulatively, and up E264 million (3.3 per cent) year on year. Corporation tax revenue was E251 million (11.4 per cent) ahead of projections in the period to end-September. Compared to the same period last year, and when adjusted for exceptional factors, receipts from profits tax was up 7.4 per cent. On the spending side, total net voted expenditure, at E33,248 million at end-September, was E338 million (1 per cent) ahead of projections.
In year-on-year terms, net voted expenditure is E105 million (0.3 per cent) below the same period in 2011. This masked considerable differences in performances among spending departments. The Departments of Health and Welfare continue to account for most overspending. In the first nine months of the year, the two ministries were spending 3 and 4 per cent more than budgeted for respectively. Over the past three months, the health overspend has increased, while the social welfare one has narrowed. The Irish Times
Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, today posted a small rise in quarterly underlying sales in its home market after 18 months of decline, indicating changes introduced after a shock January profit warning were starting to make an impact. The world's third-largest stores group, which makes over 60 per cent of its trading profit in Britain, said sales at UK stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, were up 0.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to August 25th, its fiscal second quarter.
That compares with analysts average forecast of flat sales and represents a significant improvement on a first-quarter decline of 1.5 per cent. In April Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke unveiled a plan to invest £1 billion (E1.24 billion) to stem a steady decline in market share to Wal-Mart Stores' Asda, J Sainsbury and Morrisons, as well as discounters Aldi and Lidl. All that investment was largely responsible for the firm's first fall in profits in nearly two decades. First half group trading profit fell 10.5 per cent to £1.6 billion, while UK trading profit fell 12.4 per cent to £1.1 billion - both in line with analysts' expectations.
The group has used the money to recruit 8,000 additional permanent staff to give customers better service, devoted more store space to food, given stores a warmer look and feel, revamped food ranges and invested more in lower prices, money-off vouchers and marketing, making better use of customer information gleaned from its Clubcard loyalty scheme. Tesco has also increased spending on internet and smartphone services, expanded its online range and rolled out its Click & Collect service of buying online for pick up in store. "I am encouraged by our customers' initial responses to the changes we have made - but there is much more to be done," said chief executive Philip Clarke. The Irish Times
Irish service sector activity grew at the fastest pace in 19 months in September while new export orders helped push up employment for the first time since March, a survey showed today. The NCB Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of activity in the services sector rose to 53.9 from 51.7 the previous month, moving well above the 50 line that separates growth from contraction. The growth bucked the trend in the euro zone, where a flash survey released last month showed the services sector across the currency block shrinking at its fastest since July 2009. New business in Irish services firms grew at its sharpest rate in more than two years, with survey respondents mentioning new export orders from Japan, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Employment grew for the first time in six months, with the sub-index growing to 51.5 from 49.1. "It is encouraging to see panellists report an improvement in new business in both domestic and international markets, and this is helping to feed into an improvement in services employment," said Philip O'Sullivan, chief economist at NCB Stockbrokers. The Irish Times
An application by Bank of Ireland to have solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia jailed for an alleged contempt of court may not go ahead if they continue to provide information about their financial position, the Commercial Court heard yesterday. Mr Justice Peter Kelly was due to hear the bank's application for attachment and committal to prison of the couple for failure to comply with an order that certain documentation be provided to it. It is part of the bank's bid to determine the couple's exact financial status in its ongoing efforts to enforce a E75m judgment against them.
The documents were sought by Bank of Ireland arising out of answers given by Mr O'Donnell during his five-day examination before the Commercial Court earlier this year about his assets. The examination arose from the bank obtaining judgment against Mr O'Donnell and his wife last December over loans mainly for property investments. The Irish Independent
Shareholders in ferry company ICG have overwhelmingly backed a plan by the firm to buy back as much as nearly 25pc of its stock at a cost of up to E111m. At an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday, shareholders in the company, which trades as Irish Ferries, gave the green light to the proposal for a tender offer that was tabled by the firm back in August.
The company has agreed to pay E18.50 per share under the terms of the offer, in a move that would propel its net debt to about E100m by the year end if the tender offer is fully subscribed. ICG is borrowing E110m to fund the share purchases.
Among those who could benefit from the approval is ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell, who owns just under 16pc of the company. Shares in the company were trading at E17.90 in Dublin yesterday. The Irish Independent