Bewley’s €1.7m loss on Grafton Street, SMEs and sick pay, and ‘depressing’ housing crisis

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

The Bewley’s cafe on Grafton Street made a loss of €1.7 million last year, new accounts show, due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and a failure to secure a rent reduction from its landlord, Johnny Ronan. The accounts also show that an agreement with its parent entity on “sufficient discretionary financial support” for it to continue to operate as a going concern has yet to be “formalised”. Ciarán Hancock has the details.

In his weekly column, our economics correspondent Eoin Burke-Kennedy says the most depressing thing about Ireland’s housing crisis is that the two core trends that drive it – prohibitive prices and chronic undersupply – are continuing, almost unabated.

In the first of our personal finance Q&As this week, a reader states that he and his wife have written wills that will ultimately leave their family home and a separate apartment to their son – their only child. The son is selling an apartment he owns and plans to move back into the family home. They wonder if he will be able to avail of dwelling house relief. Dominic Coyle offers a view.

In our Opinion piece, Kevin Johnson, chief executive of the Credit Union Development Association, argues that the Government’s banking review should produce a joined-up plan that would see cash services and other, sometimes loss-making, banking services provided in each community around the country.


FT columnist Pilita Clark says we should get ready for a net zero backlash from big businesses who are not happy with the outcome of the Cop27 climate change summit.

Small employers fear the introduction of mandatory sick pay in the new year alongside the biggest increase in the minimum wage to date will tip a growing number into crisis, according to recruiter Excel. Dominic Coyle reports.

Productivity per worker in the Republic was about 40 per cent higher than in Northern Ireland in 2020, research from the ESRI has found. Ian Curran goes through the main findings.

The directors of Russian-owned Aughinish Alumina and auditors EY have warned of “material uncertainty” over the viability of the Co Limerick business because of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Arthur Beesley reports.

Energy costs now represent 10-12 per cent of a hotel’s revenues, roughly three times the percentage in 2019, the final full year of trading before pandemic restrictions were imposed, a survey of members by the Irish Hotels Federation has found. Ian Curran has the details.

Some 90 per cent of employers plan to hire in 2023 with 72 per cent foreseeing an increase in their organisation’s expected performance over the coming year, according to the findings of a survey by recruiter Hays Ireland.

Smyths Toys operations in Ireland and Britain passed the €1 billion mark last year, according to accounts for the Irish retailer, writes Gordon Deegan.

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our Business Today daily email news digest.