A brutal start for Irish bank earnings season

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Ireland’s remaining banks have been seen to be in rude health of late, bolstered by the increase in interest rates, the exit of KBC and Ulster Bank from the Republic, and the reduction of the State’s shareholding in the sector in recent months. Investors don’t seem to have seen a huge amount of good news in Bank of Ireland’s earnings published on though. The firm’s shares slumped more than 10 per cent on a weaker outlook and bigger than expected provisions against bad loans tied in part to commercial property. Joe Brennan has all the details, and he also breaks down why the market took fright despite a bumper dividend. On the face of it, Monday’s reaction would seem to heap pressure on AIB and Permanent TSB, both of whom report full year earnings next week.

Irish back pain specialist Mainstay Medical has raised $125 million (€115.3 million) in its biggest equity fundraising to date as it looks to accelerate the company’s expansion across US, European and Australian markets. Dominic Coyle has the story.

A British building business founded by Irish developer Bernard McNamara is in the final stages of liquidation, according to filings with the UK companies’ office. One of the best-known players during the Irish property boom, Mr McNamara moved to the UK after his Irish construction empire collapsed in the wake of a financial crash in 2008.

In a trenchant column, Laura Slattery looks at the latest chaotic episode in the now long running RTÉ saga and why everybody involved has now lost the plot, including Minister for Media Catherine Martin.


Cantillon meanwhile explores how the next Bank of Ireland chairperson can expect a bump in fees, while the great home prices slump of 2023 appears to be well and truly over.

In Your Money, Fiona Reddan outlines why some people’s pensions are resulting in them paying an income tax rate of 70 per cent, while Dominic Coyle answers a question on what tax liability, if any, a single mother faces moving into her parents’ home.

Profits at a green electricity joint venture between Airtricity owner SSE and businessman Michael Murnane topped €2.4 million last year from €137,000 in 2022, new figures show. Revenues at Cork-based wind farm owner Green Energy Company Ltd rose more than 25 per cent to €12.9 million in the company’s last financial year, which ended on March 31st 2023, from €10.6 million in 2022. Barry has the story.

If you’re a tennis lover who uses Virgin Media then we’ve some bad news for you: the cable provider has no plans to add the newly launched Sky Sports Tennis to its channel line-up for customers who purchase the Sky Sports add-on. Laura has the details.

The Dublin Airport Authority’s challenge to a notice restricting night-time flights at Dublin Airport will be heard next month, while its action seeking to quash aircraft noise mitigation measures imposed by a local development plan has been scheduled for September. Ellen O’Riordan was in court.

Staying with legal issues, the High Court has formally granted microblogging site Tumblr permission to challenge a decision to include it in a list of 10 “video-sharing platforms” to be regulated under a new online safety code. Aodhan O’Faolain has story.

Despite the ongoing uptick in housing supply, construction output as a whole in Ireland fell sharply last year. Central Statistics Office figures show the volume of production in the building and construction sector here fell by 6.3 per cent in 2023 and was down by 0.7 per cent in the final quarter. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

Eoin also reports that the number of people employed in client companies of Government agencies rose to more than 535,000 last year despite a slight fall-off in the number employed by foreign-owned multinationals. The latest Annual Employment Survey published by the Department of Public Enterprise indicated that jobs in client companies of Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and Údarás na Gaeltachta rose to their highest level of 535,604 in 2023.

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