Unappetising options at Aryzta, US sanctions bite and another day of strikes at Ryanair

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

Ryanair faces strikes in five countries today after the airline’s last-minute court bid to halt a walkout by Dutch pilots failed

Ryanair faces strikes in five countries today after the airline’s last-minute court bid to halt a walkout by Dutch pilots failed

 

Ryanair faces strikes in five countries today after the airline’s last-minute court bid to halt a walkout by Dutch pilots failed. The Dutch pilots will join colleagues in Ireland, Belgium, Sweden and Germany on the picket lines for a 24-hour stoppage that will result in the carrier cancelling 396 flights out of a total of 2,400.

Investors in troubled Irish-Swiss baker Aryzta face having their holdings diluted by more than 40 per cent should the group decide to issue new shares, analysts say. Shares in the company that makes Cuisine de France bread and McDonalds burger buns hit a 52-week low yesterday in Zurich.

In this week’s Agenda analysis, Barry O’Halloran offers a gripping account of the company’s rollercoaster ride, and the unappetising options it now faces. “Aside from tapping shareholders or hammering out a new accord with its banks, there is one other, nuclear option, for Aryzta: a sale,” he says.

There is turmoil on the currency markets in the wake of US sanctions. The Turkish lira dropped to a new low against the dollar, losing 4 per cent on Thursday despite government promises of a new economic plan, as pressure mounted on Ankara to reassure investors and resolve an escalating dispute with the US. Meanwhile the Russian rouble touched a two-year low in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to add more sanctions against Moscow over a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy, which took place in the UK in April.

Despite many predicting the inevitable collapse of the Government’s National Broadband Plan, Minister for Business Heather Humphreys was adamant yesterday that it remains “on track” and a contract will be signed next month.

The impact of Brexit continues, with news that more than 9 per cent of all solicitors listed in the Republic are now lawyers from England and Wales, many of whom rushed to register after the UK voted to leave the EU.

In his Caveat column, Mark Paul argues that whichever way the sprawling INM story twists or turns, and its apparent focus on the actions of other people, the spectre of Denis O’Brien remains at the heart of it.

Futureproof looks at how the Co Clare tourist attraction, the Ailwee Caves, has diversified its offering into an eclectic basket of operations, while in the World of Work, Olive Keogh considers why knowing when to step aside is a skill too few business leaders master.