Business and Leadership Ltd.

Danone Baby Nutrition is to create 40 new jobs in Cork as part of a €50m investment. The makers of Aptamil and Cow and Gate will expand and redevelop its existing facility in Macroom, Co. Cork. The 40 new jobs will be in the areas of food science, engineering and supply chain management. Building is due to begin in February, 2011. In a statement, Danone said, “Consistent growth of Danone Baby Nutrition’s infant and toddler formulas, such as Aptamil, has resulted in the need to invest to increase capacity.” Almost all the output from the improved Macroom facility will be exported to more than 60 countries. The company already employs…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Investment bankers in London are earning up to 20pc more this year when compared to 2009, says a new survey released today. The survey, conducted by financial services recruitment company Astbury Marsden, found the average basic salary for investment banking staff in London has risen 20pc in the last year. It is thought that companies are trying to offset the curbing of bonuses with higher year-round salaries. Pressure continues to mount on firms to stop paying high end-of-year bonuses. Back, middle and front level staff will earn about Ł97,500 this year, up from Ł81,250 last year. Many top performers will also receive mega bonus payments, despite the continued criticism from…

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Barry O'Leary, chief executive, IDA

US telecommunications company Genband has said it will create 100 jobs in its new international headquarters in Galway. The company, which develops IP infrastructure, plans to establish its international HQ and business services centre in Galway, representing an €8m investment. The jobs will be in finance, supply chain management, customer support, software development, HR, legal and administrative activities. Charlie Vogt, CEO and president of Genband said, “The establishment of our international headquarters operation in Ireland represents a critical component of Genband’s continued global strategy and growth. “Ireland’s breadth of high-quality, skilled human resources made Galway an ideal setting for our expansion, particularly when combined with the region’s competitive cost structure…

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European Investment Bank

Shares in Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland continue to nosedive as more details emerge about their need for even further capitalisation. Bank of Ireland shares fell 33pc yesterday but recovered some ground and are now trading up over 7pc to 29cent. AIB shares fell 22pc yesterday but finished trading slightly higher. Shares in the soon-to-be-nationalised bank are now trading at 34cent a share. Bank of Ireland are set to get its third injection of State bailout money as it becomes clear it needs further capital to reach international standards of capital levels. The Government ownership of the bank will be somewhere between 65 and 80pc following the capital…

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European Investment Bank

Following the confirmation of an EU/IMF rescue plan, it is understood that AIB will be almost fully State owned and Bank of Ireland will be nationalised. The EU/IMF €85bn facility will most likely be used to recapitalise the Irish banks, boosting their capital levels from eight to 12pc. By raising the amount of funds held in reserves, it is hoped investor confidence will be bolstered as it will cushion any loan losses. It is understood the Government will take a 99.9pc stake in Allied Irish Bank. The 0.1pc remaining will be left on the stock exchange. Authorities realised the bank needs extra funds but is reluctant to fully-nationalise it. The…

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Dan Akerson, chief executive of GM

General Motors is to up the size of its stock offering by more than 30pc to US$15.5bn, according to a statement from the company today. If the offer is taken up fully, the IPO will become the largest US deal to date. GM intends to boost the share offering to 478 million shares as a result of surging demand by investors. By late last night, US$70bn worth of orders had already been put in. The IPO could raise nearly US$23bn and will reduce the US Treasury’s stake to a minority one. If share prices remain at the top end at US$33 and all stock is sold, the US Government could…

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Amber leBon

US fashion retailer Forever 21 is set to open its first Irish store in Dublin’s Jervis Street Shopping Centre tomorrow, creating 250 jobs. The popular store is often labelled as the American equivalent to Topshop with its “fast fashion” – that is runway looks at below-high street prices – and huge crowds are expected at the unveiling on Saturday. The much-anticipated launch, along with a store opening in Birmingham in the UK today,  marks the retailer’s first foray into the European market where it will compete with the likes of H&M, Penny’s and New Look. The group was founded in 1984 and now operates more than 460 stores in America,…

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The Battersea Power Station site as it might look once completed

Treasury Holdings-backed Real Estate Opportunities (REO) has received approval from Wandsworth Council for its planning application for the Battersea Power Station site. According to REO, approval of the planning application, the largest ever in Central London, is a major step towards the regeneration of the Battersea Power Station. The next stage of the process will see the application referred to the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for their consideration. The Ł5.5 billion redevelopment, which is intended to be completed in a number of phases over 13 years, will create a 10.1m sq ft mixed-use sustainable development with over 3,400 new homes and…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Ireland is rapidly regaining the competitiveness it lost during the boom years, according to a new report released today at IBEC’s CEO Conference. Ireland’s costs are coming into line internationally, exporters are increasing global market share and unemployment appears to have levelled off, explained Danny McCoy, adding that businesses have reacted swiftly and decisively to the recession. “We are now positioned for recovery and equipped to create balanced and sustainable growth,” he said. The IBEC report Productivity and adjustment shows that as pay rates and other costs have been reduced, Irish firms are again performing strongly in international markets. It also found that major restructuring programmes and a stronger focus…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Following third quarter declines and expectations for worse in quarter four, retailer Next has warned customers to expect double-digit price rises for clothes in 2011. The British fashion group said that due to the rise in the price of cotton, retail price increases are likely to be at the top end of the previously-stated 5 to 8pc range in the first three months of 2011. Even further hikes could be seen in quarter two. “Because we’ve bought most of the stock for the first-quarter of next year we can be fairly confident that our number at the top end of that range is right,” said chief executive Simon Wolfson. “We…

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