Lotto’s a winner; Permo foresees 50% profit rise; and SilverCloud founders cash in

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The big winner in the surge in Lotto sales is  Premier Lotteries Ireland,  which saw operating profit jump by 64 per cent to €14.6 million. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The big winner in the surge in Lotto sales is Premier Lotteries Ireland, which saw operating profit jump by 64 per cent to €14.6 million. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw


National Lottery sales rose just shy of 4 per cent to €918.9 million last year and the value of prizes was 6 per cent up at €529 million. But the big winner, writes Peter Hamilton is the company running it – Premier Lotteries Ireland – which saw operating profit jump by 64 per cent to €14.6 million.

Permanent TSB expects its planned acquisition of €7.6 billion of mortgages and small business loans from Ulster Bank to boost its profitability by 50 per cent over the medium term. And that may help the State recoup the balance of the €4 billion it invested to prop up the lender during the financial crisis. Joe Brennan reports.

Five Irish executives at online mental health programme provider, SilverCloud Health, will share an estimated €23 million after the Irish tech company they founded nine years ago was acquired by leading US telehealth group Amwell. Charlie Taylor has the details.

Facebook said overnight that it expects revenue growth in the third and fourth quarters to “decelerate significantly”, sending the social media giant’s shares into a spin despite results for the second quarter that beat Wall Street estimates.

Speaking of tech firms, Ciara O’Brien reports on Microsoft’s appointment of Vodafone UK executive Anne Sheehan as its new general manager for Ireland. She takes up the role at the start of October.

A Spanish-British joint venture plans two offshore floating wind farms in the Irish Sea in an estimated €5.5 billion development. Barry O’Halloran reports that the planned electricity generating plants off the Wexford and Wicklow coasts will have a total capacity of 2,500 megawatts (MW).

Housing remains in the news and a paper published by the Central Bank warns that temporary arrangements on mortgage arrears “might only delay default”, writes Laura Slattery. The authors argue that permanent or long-term debt relief arrangements on mortgages “have substantially higher success rates” and are in the best interest of both borrowers and lenders.

Martin Wall reports that trade unions in the construction sector are to seek a minimum guaranteed 39-hour week for workers as part of a proposed revised sectoral employment agreement, alongside a 4 per cent pay rise annually over the next three years.

The VHI is entitled to an order excluding economist Moore McDowell from being an independent expert witness for a private Limerick city hospital in its challenge to the VHI’s refusal to approve cover for it, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

In the Inside Business podcast, Dalton Philips, the chief executive of airport operator DAA, tells Ciarán Hancock that up to 32,000 passengers a day have been going through Dublin Airport since restrictions on air travel were lifted on July 19th in early signs of a rebound for the sector. But he’s worried that Covid might have fundamentally damaged the business travel market.

Irish companies are developing robots and apps to help combat dementia and loneliness as the market for silver tech market heads for €777 billion by 2025, according to one analyst. Marie Boran takes a look at what they are doing.

The growing right-to-repair movement is trying to tackle tech’s throwaway culture, Karlin Lillington writes in her column. Somewhat unexpectedly, it appears to have been farmers that have persuaded US president Joe Biden to take a major step along the road, signing an executive order this month that asks the US Federal Trade Commission to introduce rules allowing allow consumers a right to repair a range of electronics and to limit manufacturers’ control.

In much the same vein, Ciara O’Brien writes this week that consumers could save themselves hundreds of euro when buying new tech products and gadgets, often for very little trade-off. Refurbished devices are going mainstream and many younger consumers, in particular, say they would buy a pre-owned device if it cut their carbon footprint.

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