Business and Leadership Ltd.

Zurich has been awarded the 2012 Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA) Service Excellence Award in the General Insurance category. The ceremony took place in Dublin last night. “To win this award for the second year in a row is a fantastic achievement for our team and a great endorsement of our industry-leading service delivery to brokers and their customers,” said Ken Norgrove, chief executive officer, Zurich. The PIBA Annual Survey of more than 420 broker firms across Ireland forms the backdrop to the association’s industry awards and is a key performance indicator of service excellence, measuring the level of customer service provided by Insurers in the marketplace. Karina Corbett

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Shares in Petrel Resources have jumped by more 350pc after the Irish Aim-listed oil and gas exploration company announced today that it has identified a target in the South Porcupine Basin of the Irish Atlantic Margin with a billion barrel potential. The target is located on Quad 35 of Petrel’s 100pc owned 11/4 licensing option.  Petrel said the identified targets have been mapped at several levels indicating that they are vertically stacked and would be accessible with one well. According to the company, which is chaired by John Teeling, stacked targets have been mapped at Eocene (Lower Tertiary), Lower Cretaceous and locally Jurassic levels.  This facilitates drilling and testing of…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Over half of retailers have experienced increased levels of crime in the last two years, with €512m of retail stock stolen in 2011, according to a new survey from Retail Ireland. The Ibec group has called for a more pro-active and collaborative approach from Gardai and retailers and said those caught shoplifting should bear the full brunt of the law. In the survey of 33 retail companies, which have over 800 shops and employ over 67,500 people around the country, 52pc said they had experienced an increase in crime in the last two years. Nearly half (49pc) said they have experienced theft of cash from their premises. Eighty-two percent said…

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Profits rise at BT Group

BT Group has announced its results for the second quarter and half-year to 30 September 2012. Profit before tax in the second quarter was �608m – an increase of 7pc – while profit in the half-year was �1,186m, up 8pc. Revenue for the second quarter was up 9pc at �4,474m, while revenue for the half-year was �8,958m, an increase of 7pc. BT Ireland’s revenue increased by 1pc in the period, which also saw the company entering into a wholesale deal to provide Sky with managed voice and broadband services. “We have delivered another solid quarter of growth in profit before tax despite the economic conditions and regulatory impacts,” said chief…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Kilkenny Group is creating 60 new jobs in its shops throughout the country and its online store. The new positions will bring the number of staff employed in the Irish-owned, family-run company to 265. Kilkenny Group has opened four new stores since last year and plans to open a further three by the end of next year. Just recently it opened an outlet on Grafton Street in Dublin. It has also invested significantly in the expansion and relaunch of its online offering. According to chief executive officer Marian O’Gorman, Irish consumers are recognising the importance of buying Irish and there has never been a greater need to support indigenous craft…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Seán Quinn Jnr was released from prison today and a High Court hearing of contempt proceedings against his father Séan Quinn Snr was adjourned for two weeks. Justice Elizabeth Dunne said it was not a matter for the court to decide on Quinn Jnr’s release time – it was up to the prison authorities. He was released from Mountjoy shortly after the hearing, having served three months. Meanwhile, a new legal team asked the court for more time to prepare a defence for Seán Quinn Snr. Lawyers for IBRC told the court there had still been no meaningful co-operation from him to comply with court orders to reverse the asset-stripping…

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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 relationships and is an irreversible cultural change.  Customers are using…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Attitudes towards women in technology are changing rapidly and female participation continues to increase in this sector in Ireland, a briefing heard today. The Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) breakfast briefing took place at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, involving more than 200 women working in the technology sector. Set up in 2009, CWIT is a collaborative initiative of senior women from Ernst & Young, HP, Microsoft, Accenture, Google, Facebook, Dell and IBM which aims to attract more women to the sector. Marie Treacy, partner at Ernst & Young hosted the event and guest speakers included Triona Campbell, beActive International and Regina Moran, Fijitsu Ireland. “The recent establishment by Enterprise…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Ulster Bank has appointed a receiver to Glencullen Holdings, which operates the two car dealerships Bill Cullen had left, in Swords and Liffey Valley in Dublin. Reported to owe the bank around €12m, the two dealerships employ 45 people and Cullen said they had dropped 70pc in value over the past two years. Falling car sales and other factors led to the end of the road for Cullen, who has been in the motor trade for 55 years and went on to be the front man for the TV3 series ‘The Apprentice’. Cullen lost the Renault dealership last August, having held the national franchise for the French carmaker from 1986…

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Former Anglo executives sent forward for trial

Former Anglo Irish Bank executives Seán FitzPatrick, Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan were today sent forward for trial at the Circuit Criminal Court on charges of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008. The former chairman, finance director and managing director were served the books of evidence during the hearing at the Criminal Courts of Justice. They were charged, indicted and released on bail last July following a three-and-a-half year investigation by detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation into alleged financial irregularities at Anglo Irish Bank. The three were today remanded on continuing bail to appear again at the next sitting of the Circuit Criminal…

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