Tuesday, October 16 08:12:17
Tesco has solidified its position as the dominant player in the Irish supermarket sector according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, with almost 29 per cent of market share. Figures for the 12-week period ended September 30th show the British retailer increased its market share to 28.6 per cent up from 27.8 per cent a year ago. However, budget grocer Aldi enjoyed the greatest increase in market share in percentage terms, in the process overtaking Superquinn in terms of its percentage of the market.
While the Irish-owned retailer saw its market share slip from 5.7 per cent in September 2011 to 5.5 per cent last month, Aldi increased its market share by 30 per cent over the same period, increasing its share of the Irish grocery market to 6 per cent at the end of September, up from 4.6 per cent the previous year. The German-headquartered company is now the fifth player in the market, slightly trailing Lidl, which holds 6.6 per cent of the Irish grocery trade.
While Dunnes Stores remained the second-biggest player in the Irish grocery sector behind Tesco, its market share slipped during the year, declining from 23.3 per cent to 21.6 per cent at the end of last month, representing a drop of 7.8 per cent. The third-largest retailer in terms of market share was SuperValu, which grew market share from 19.4 per cent to 19.7 per cent during the period. The Irish Times
Property developer John McCabe has been ordered to repay amounts totalling more than E100 million to the National Asset Management Agency arising mainly from loans to companies in his building group and personal guarantees of loans. McCabe's Builders (Dublin) was behind the so-called "millionaires' row" development at Abington in Malahide, Co Dublin. He was also one of 10 customers of Anglo who each bought a 10 per cent stake in the bank in the so-called Maple 10 deal of 2008.
Nama also secured summary judgment yesterday in various sums against Mr McCabe's wife and children related to various loans and guarantees. Judgment for about E31 million was entered against Mary McCabe; E36 million against her son John; E29 million each against her daughters Angela, Pauline and Sandra; and E18.3 million against her daughter Helen McCarthy. Nama brought the proceedings in the Commercial Court following "disquiet" over events that last month led to it obtaining court orders freezing the assets of Mr McCabe, Rath Stud, Ashbourne, Co Meath, and his family.
Nama sought those orders after expressing concern that E6.2 million of assets that should have been ringfenced to pay off debts had been "misappropriated or dissipated". It was claimed almost E5 million had been diverted into an account in the Middle East, while other money had been used to repay loans to a non-Nama bank. The McCabes, whose group of companies owes Nama more than E235 million, had denied any wrongdoing. Yesterday, Rossa Fanning, for Nama, asked Mr Justice Peter Kelly to enter summary judgment against Mr McCabe, his wife and children. The Irish Times
Whoever is right about the savings from the Croke Park agreement, it is clear there is a lot of confusion over what the Government means by "savings". To be non-sexist, it is like the man who came home and said he had "saved" E1,000 by not buying the new golf clubs. It may be that public spending will be E3.5bn less than if there had been no Croke Park agreement but there is no actual saving whatsoever. Official forecasts make this clear; all the reductions in the pay bill, from pay cuts and the pension levy, have already taken place. Very few further reductions are planned or forecast. The pay bill of E18bn this year is meant to fall by E1bn over the next three years but rise by E1bn in the next two.
This is the significance of increments, which cost around E200m a year. Further redundancies and other Croke Park savings are needed to pay for this each year -- but officially count as "savings". There is no such ambiguity for taxpayers. Direct taxes are due to rise by E9bn in cash over the next five years, with E5bn coming from income tax. But even holding the public-sector pay bill steady along side a E9bn rise in taxes is not enough. The Government must reduce cash spending on goods and services by E2bn, cut "transfers" on things like child benefit by E2bn, and knock another E2bn off capital spending. The Irish Independent
Irish-based manufacturing companies receiving government support for innovation sell more cutting-edge products than those that don't, a conference will hear today. Innovative sales increased on average by 5pc in firms into which state aid has been pumped over the past 20 years, according to research by Warwick Business School professor Stephen Roper. The findings will be unveiled at a conference hosted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin today on innovation and public policy. Prof Roper said evidence suggested companies receiving financial support to develop new products knew how to successfully translate that into sales.
But he also found that the majority of state aid went into companies with already established R and D departments. "It seems as if policymakers in Enterprise Ireland and IDA like giving money to companies that have R and D departments," Prof Roper told the Irish Independent. "There might be some reason for that, like transparency. If you're giving money to a company where they don't have a formal R and D structure, the money can just disappear into the business." The Irish Independent