All eyes on High Court in INM drama

Your upcoming business week: Kingspan to issue trading update while Netflix and Bank of America results due

The ODCE is to bring its  anticipated application to have inspectors appointed to INM over concerns about the proposed purchase of Newstalk radio and an alleged data breach. Photograph: Bryan Meade

The ODCE is to bring its anticipated application to have inspectors appointed to INM over concerns about the proposed purchase of Newstalk radio and an alleged data breach. Photograph: Bryan Meade

 

Monday

Results: Bank of America, Netflix.

Indicators: Irish construction PMI (Mar), balance of trade (Feb), exports and imports (Feb); US retails sales (Mar).

Meetings: High Court application by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) to have inspectors appointed to Independent News and Media (INM).

All eyes on High Court in INM drama

All eyes will be on the High Court today for the latest development in a story that continues to captivate the business world, not to mention politics and society at large.

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) is to bring its highly anticipated application to have inspectors appointed to Independent News and Media (INM) over concerns about the proposed purchase of Newstalk radio and an alleged data breach.

It remains unclear how that application will be met by the company.

The question of the data breach, its potential extent and whether or not the company can offer reassurances to its staff members has been the subject of continued interest in recent days.

Businessman Denis O’Brien is, of course, the largest shareholder in INM. The company’s former chairman Leslie Buckley, a close associate of O’Brien’s, issued a statement last week saying he would robustly defend himself against “each and every allegation” made against him in connection with the ODCE investigation.

Meanwhile, the ODCE told the High Court it is focusing on 19 “persons of interest” in the data breach, including journalists and executives at the group and lawyers for the Moriarty Tribunal.

That tribunal made adverse findings against Mr O’Brien, who has repeatedly rejected its conclusion.

Opposition politicians were expected to raise the alleged data breach when the Dáil resumes this week after the Easter recess.

Tuesday

Results: Associated British Foods, Goldman Sachs Group, Johnson & Johnson.

Indicators: Euro zone economic sentiment index (Apr); UK unemployment (Feb), average earnings (Feb); German current conditions (Apr), economic sentiment index (Apr); US industrial and manufacturing production (Mar).

Meetings: E-Commerce Expo Ireland (Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin 3); Med Tech Strategist Innovation Summit (Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin 2).

Wednesday

Results: Danone, American Express, Mattel, Morgan Stanley.

Indicators: Euro zone construction output (Feb), inflation (Mar); UK inflation (Mar), PPI input and output (Mar), retail price index (Mar); German wholesale prices (Mar).

Meetings: SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) Energy Show 2018 (RDS, Dublin 4); Dublin Tech Summit (Convention Centre Dublin).

Thursday

Results: Panalpina, Blackstone Group, Philip Morris International.

Indicators: UK retail sales (Mar).

Meetings: All Ireland Business Summit (Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin 3); Exim Summit on exports and imports (Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin 3).

Friday

Earnings: General Electric, Procter & Gamble.

Indicators: Irish wholesale prices (Mar); Euro zone consumer confidence flash (Apr); German PPI (Mar).

Meetings: Bank of Ireland AGC (Mespil Road, Dublin 4); Kingspan Group AGM (Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin 4).

Kingspan to issue trading update

Kingspan hosts its agm on Friday and is due to issue a trading update, at a time of ever growing uncertainty around Brexit and its potential effects on orders.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh had described 2017 as a year of strong performance for the insulation-making company, citing in particular several significant acquisitions and establishing a presence in Latin America.

“Our new light and air division is performing ahead of expectations and expanding the range of product solutions the business offers,” he said on the company’s website.

“The challenge of increased input costs has been effectively managed to minimise the impact on profit margins. Notwithstanding the weakening UK market our well diversified business is well placed for the longer term.”

But it is the UK that has been causing some difficulties. Mr Murtagh has said question marks around Brexit would continue to squeeze demand for some of its products – by now a well-rehearsed topic of corporate conversation in Ireland and one that will no doubt form a central part of Friday’s interactions.

In February, the group said UK orders for insulated panels were down 15 per cent in the opening weeks of 2018 as result of a fall in orders from commercial and industrial building. That said, profits were up 11 per cent to €377 million last year.

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