Applegreen profits, bad day for Providence and household debt

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

Forecourt retailer Applegreens gross profit rose 20 per cent in the first six months of the year, driven by strong fuel margins in Ireland and the UK. Joe Brennan has the details.

Providence Resources had a bad Monday, releasing the news that its drilling prospect at Drombeg off the coast of Ireland was being abandoned. It's the latest drilling disappointment for the Irish oil and gas explorer and its share price slumped in both Dublin and London. Fiona Reddan brings you the news behind the story while Eoin Burke-Kennedy tells us where the company might go from here. Meanwhile, Cantillon ponders precisely what Tony O'Reilly Jnr has delivered in 12 years as chief executive of Providence.

Irish household debt continues to decline at a faster pace than anywhere else in Europe but the bad news is that house prices in Ireland continue to rise, fuelled by a lack of supply. Eoin Burke-Kennedy gets behind the debt numbers and has the details from a report by Sherry FitzGerald showing that the number of homes for sale in Ireland dropped by 9 per cent in the past year, fuelling the spike in prices .

In what could turn out to be a finger-lickin' deal, Northern Ireland poultry producer Moy Park has been sold by its Brazilian owners to US chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride in a deal valued at $1 billion. Francess McDonnell recaps Moy Park's varied history.

The Carton House hotel and golf resort in Co Kildare is up for sale with a €60 million price tag. Mark Paul has a list of the likely bidders for this sought-after trophy asset.

We also have some details on leaks around the iPhone 8, which will be officially launched today by Apple. Expects lots of hype and headlines.

In her media column, Laura Slattery tackles George Hook and his odious remarks on rape, and Dalata's decision to axe its sponsorship of his radio show on Newstalk.

Have a good day.

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Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times