Banks must embrace digital channels – PwC

NDRC Inventorium and IIA initiative to accelerate 20 SMEs into online trading

NDRC Inventorium and IIA initiative to accelerate 20 SMEs into online trading Banks are under-utilising a vital new source of revenue growth as many have been slow to respond to the digital innovations, according to Ciarán Kelly, financial services partner, PwC, who addressed the Irish Banking Federation Conference this week. This is despite strong digital awareness and usage among bank customers and the fact that they have shown a willingness to pay for these, he said. Speaking at the conference, Kelly said: “Given the pressures the financial crisis has had on the banking sector, banks have understandably been slow to embrace the digital innovation customers now expect.  Social media is changing customer…

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Crowley Carbon launches boiler which could save Irish companies over €900m

Irish energy services company Crowley Carbon has launched a boiler aimed at the commercial and industrial market, which it says has been proven to deliver savings of up to 80pc on energy costs. Based on high pressure heat pump technology, the Thermal Server was developed in-house and is manufactured in Ireland. It can be driven by gas engine or electricity and utilises waste heat from manufacturing or geothermal sources to deliver low-cost hot water to businesses. This hot water can then be used in a wide range of installations, including breweries, dairies and other food processing plants. Over the past 24 months has been piloted within Dawn Meats in Ireland and the…

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Taxback.com scoops international entrepreneur title

Terry Clune

Irish firm Taxback.com has won the International Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 2010 European Business Awards, sponsored by HSBC. Terry Clune started the tax recovery business Taxback.com as a student sideline over 13 years ago and has transformed it into a global business with over 650 employees and offices in 21 countries. He was the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009. There was a diverse group of entrants to the HSBC sponsored awards, ranging from fish farming to renewable energy and light aircraft to skincare, with a combined turnover higher of over €766 billion and employing over 3.5 million people. A tough bunch to please Adrian Tripp, CEO…

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Dublin City Council to reduce commercial rates

Dublin City Council has reduced commercial rates for 2013 by 0.5pc and now other local authorities must follow suit, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce . “The current revaluation of commercial properties that is taking place in the Dublin City Council area could lead to an increase in the rates bill for some businesses from 2014 onwards so any reduction in advance of this is positive,” said Chamber chief executive Gina Quin. “The remaining three Dublin county councils will vote on their 2013 budgets in the next three weeks and be put to the test as to how supportive they really are of commerce.” In the past four years, commercial rates have been reduced…

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Almost two thirds of all Irish people live in cities – CSO

Almost two thirds of all Irish people live in cities – CSO

The urban population of Ireland is now 62pc of the total population, in just 2.4pc of the total land area, according to the most recent figures released by the Central Statistics Office. The migration of people to cities is a global trend where people are following the investment, employment and innovation opportunities of cities, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce . Aebhric McGibney, Dublin Chambers director of policy, said: “There has been a global urban shift, cities have become the lightning rods of investment, the centres of innovations, the epicentre of employment and the engines of national economies. Cities are responsible for generating more than 80pc of global gross domestic product yet they occupy…

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UPC Ireland hits 148,000 broadband users, VoD on way

robertdunn

Cable broadband and TV player UPC has ratcheted up its broadband subscriber numbers and now reaches 148,000 subscribers. CEO Robert Dunn said €400 million has been invested in upgrading the company’s Irish network. The company now passes some 877,400 homes overall, out of which 713,300 are termed revenue-generating units. Subscribers for UPC’s digital cable services stood at 276,900 while subscribers for its analog services stood at 153,600. The company has 74,300 MMDS subscribers. UPC currently serves 148,100 homes with high-speed cable broadband and has a total addressable broadband market at present of 593,000 homes. The company is also currently building out a next-generation network that will offer speeds of up…

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PCH buys TNS Distribution for up to 21m

PCH buys TNS Distribution for up to 21m

Cork-headquartered global supply chain solutions company PCH International has bought TNS Distribution for a consideration of up to €21m. The acquisition involves an immediate payment of €6m by PCH, which has its operational headquarters in Shenzhen, China. PCH will also pay up to €5m over three years for the company, which is a European distributor of consumer electronics products and accessories, depending on the latter’s performance. An additional payment will be made over the same period based on the overall performance of the PCH Group, and will range from between €5m and 10m. Ernst & Young managed the transaction on behalf of PCH. TNS Distribution is based in Ireland, and has offices in the…

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Vodafone Smart Accessibility Awards launched 200,000 Prize Fund

The Smart Accessibility Awards 2012, a competition worth €200,000 that calls for developers from across Europe to design smartphone apps that take into consideration the needs of older people and people with disabilities, was launched today by the Vodafone Foundation and its partners. To encourage Irish interest in this international competition for new apps, the National Digital Research Centre (NDRA) has linked with Vodafone and its partners – the NCBI, IIA, and mobile open community group Mobile Monday – and will be hosting a two-day workshop at NDRC’s HQ on Crane Street on the 21 and 22 August. These leading Irish interests from the digital research, internet, and mobile community…

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MSD’s Rathdrum site to close in 2015

MSD plant in Ballydine, Co Tipperary

Pharmaceutical multinational MSD is closing its manufacturing facility in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, by the end of 2015, affecting 280 jobs on the site. The move is part of MSD’s ongoing review of its worldwide manufacturing capabilities that has resulted in sites being sold, closed or consolidated in all regions all over the world. The plant in Rathdrum makes ingredients for respiratory care, infectious disease and cardiovascular medicines. Manufacturing activities will start to be phased out in 2014 but no staff reductions are expected until the end of 2014, according to MSD. It plans to relocate products manufactured in Rathdrum to its sites in Ballydine , Co Tipperary and Singapore, as well as…

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100m MSD R&D; facility opened in Tipperary

A €100m pharmaceutical R&D; centre at MSD in Ballydine, Co Tipperary was officially opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny this morning. Construction on the facility on the existing Ballydine site began in September 2007 and 70 new, high-calibre roles have been created since then. MSD, which employs 2,300 people at eight operations throughout Ireland, said another 50 jobs could be created as further innovative medicines are developed at the centre. Six new medicines are currently in development at MSD Ballydine , including new candidate medicines for the combined treatment of high cholesterol and type II diabetes, and for the treatment of hepatitis C. An additional €6 million investment is already in the planning phase…

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