Seen & heard: Barryroe could yield €2.5bn in taxes
Comer’s docklands profit, Blake O’Donnell’s movie plans and M&S’s declining sales
Marks and Spencer’s store on Grafton Street in Dublin. The UK retailer is expected to report a decline in food sales over the festive period. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The Sunday Times reports that stockbroker Davy, the house broker for Providence Resources, has calculated that the Barryroe oilfield off the southern coast that the exploration company is developing with Chinese investment could yield €2.5 billion in taxes for the State. Davy says the field could produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day at the peak of its 16-year production cycle.
Property developers Luke and Brian Comer have made a €77 million profit by “flipping” a Dublin docklands office block it bought from a bank receiver during the recession, the Sunday Times also reports. The East Wall building, which is let to Facebook, was sold by the brothers last year to a South Korean bank.
Nine out of 10 employers have plans to give their staff pay rises of up to 5 per cent over the coming year, according to a study by Abrivia and Trinity College Dublin. The Sunday Independent reports that the study’s authors found that about 78 per cent of employers also intend to pay their staff bonuses in 2019.
The Sunday Independent also reports on a €100 million investment plan by nursing home group, Carechoice, which plans to build three new facilities and add extensions to six of its existing centres. Carechoice says it will “treble” the size of its business to 1,600 beds by 2023.
Russian bank VTB plans to move parts of its London operation, but no staff, to Dublin after Brexit, according to the Sunday Business Post. The sanctions-hit bank, which has close links to the Kremlin, plans to merge part of its commodities trading business with an Irish entity, to give it access to European Union clients after Britain exits the bloc this year.
The son of property investors Patricia and Brian O’Donnell, who became embroiled in a €71 million row with Bank of Ireland over property loans and their Gorse Hill former home in Killiney, has set up a film production company that wants to revive the animated first World War pilot Biggles. The Sunday Business Post says Blake O’Donnell’s Blane Row Productions is in talks with the company that holds the rights to the character.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that British retail chain Marks & Spencer, which operates about 18 stores in the Republic, is expected to record the worst Christmas sales figures in a decade for its supermarkets. Financial analysts in London believes M&S’s festive food sales could fall up by up to 3.5 per cent, compounding the sense of gloom that has enveloped many of the UK retail industry’s high-profile high street shopping stalwarts.
Citi analysts have warned that the Aer Lingus and British Airways owner, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), could be forced to scrimp on dividend payments and stop share buybacks if it acquires the debt-laden carrier Norwegian, the Sunday Telegraph reports. IAG, run by former Aer Lingus chief executive Willie Walsh, opened takeover talks with Norwegian last April and has already had two offers rebuffed.