ESB investigated; Brexit ends the landbridge; and rewarding hospitality staff

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

Regulators have been documents that sparked controversy over ESB’s wholesale electricity prices. Photograph: iStock

Regulators have been documents that sparked controversy over ESB’s wholesale electricity prices. Photograph: iStock


Barry Cowen TD has sent documents that sparked controversy over ESB’s wholesale electricity prices to regulators, the Fianna Fáil deputy confirmed on Thursday. Barry O’Halloran has details on the move, and also explains the background to the issue in our Friday long read.

Brexit has spelled the end of the British “landbridge” transit route, according to Dublin Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly. He spoke to Simon Carswell as new figures show a dramatic fall in lorry traffic between Dublin and British ports.

JKO Play, a consortium led by former Formula One boss Eddie Jordan, has pulled its $3 billion (€2.64 billion) planned takeover bid of gaming software company Playtech, reports Charlie Taylor. The development comes after a block of Asian investors built up a stake in the takeover target.

Airports should continue to offering airlines discounts into next winter to restore pre-pandemic services, Ryanair executive Eddie Wilson has argued. Barry O’Halloran has the story on this, and on the airline’s plans to fly 900 times a week across 120 destinations from Dublin this summer.

John FitzGerald also takes on aviation, arguing in his weekly economics column that incentives are needed to encourage the development of carbon-free aviation technologies. Road transport can offer important lessons in this front, he suggests.

As Nphet clears the way for an unwinding of many Covid-19 restrictions, Mark Paul says it’s time for hospitality employers to take a hard look at how they reward their staff if they want to avoid an exodus to other sectors. It’s simple, he argues: give staff their tips.

Olive Keogh also has advice for employers whose staff could be eyeing the exit door – help them to find purpose. She notes that purpose is personal, with Covid restrictions stirring up many questions among staff about where they go from here.

This week’s Wild Goose is a Limerick forester who is now based in Cumbria in England and counts English royalty among the clients of his ecological logging company. The Queen, he says, is “very down to earth”.

The Irish Times Business Person of the Monthfor December is DCC chief executive Donal Murphy. DCC acquired Almo Corporation, the largest distributor of appliances and consumer electronics in the US, during the month. The Business Person awards are run in association with Bank of Ireland.

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