Ryanair warns of further cuts, Stripe to raise more funds, and AI for cows’ faces

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

Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of Stripe, which could be valued as high as $100 billion, according to Bloomberg. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of Stripe, which could be valued as high as $100 billion, according to Bloomberg. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Ryanair has warned it could permanently reduce some services locally and base more of its operations outside the State if action isn’t taken to protect the aviation sector. Speaking to The Irish Times’ Charlie Taylor, Ryanair DAC’s chief executive Eddie Wilson called on the Government to do more to ensure the overall survival of air travel in Ireland.

In other airline news, Willie Walsh has been appointed the next head of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), a position that will involve the former British Airways chief executive leading the industry’s response to the pandemic. At Iata’s online annual meeting on Tuesday, Mr Walsh criticised countries for effectively barring people from travelling and said he aims to change attitudes among policymakers. “We know they want to fly,” he said. “But they have been denied that freedom by a disjointed political response and certain governments which failed to adopt measures that would have allowed services to continue.”

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney said the pre-packed sandwich company was “absolutely smashed” by the first coronavirus lockdown and that it would not recover until at least 2022. The London-listed group conducted a £90 million (€101 million) share placing on Tuesday to limit the financial fallout from the pandemic, reports Eoin Burke-Kennedy.

The Government is to extend until next March a current suspension of the rights of workers who have been laid off temporarily to seek redundancy from their employer, writes Martin Wall. Ministers believed that without such a measure a large number of redundancy claims would have “crystalised” under provisions of existing legislation, potentially causing hundreds of businesses to fail. The Cabinet has also agreed that the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) will now stay open for new applications until the end of June next year.

Digital bank N26 is in a position to capture a million customers in the Republic, the its new Irish chief operating officer Adrienne Gormley told The Irish Times on Tuesday. At a time when fintech payment apps like Revolut and N26 are exploding in popularity in Ireland, why are conventional banks upping their fees for customers? Fiona Reddan explains in her Money Matters column today.

Also in fintech news, Stripe is in talks to raise a new funding round, valuing the company at as much as $100 billion, almost three times higher than its last private valuation, Bloomberg reports.

A new Irish software company co-founded by former Netwatch chief executive David Walsh aims to enable older people to live independently for longer, with claims that its HaloCare technology, for tracking movement and health data in the home with live medical monitoring, will revolutionise senior care. Joanne Hunt has more details.

Online education provider Udemy plans to create 100 jobs in Dublin, just eight months after it announced a similar number of new roles for the capital. Cainthus, an Irish agtech start-up that has developed facial recognition for cows, is seeking to raise more than $50 million (€42m) from investors. Charlie Taylor reports on both companies.

In Commercial Property news, Cairn Homes has been in talks with Greystar in relation to the sale of the 385-unit Griffith Wood apartment scheme for around €180 million, while Ires Reit is closing in on a €10.6 million purchase of Stillorgan apartment portfolio of 25 units at Beechwood Court, where it already owns 101 apartments. Ronald Quinlan reports.

Is the finance department at Tayto known as the number crunchers? That’s what we’re wondering reading Gordon Deegan’s report on the latest accounts filed by Intersnack in Germany, which show revenues at Tayto Snacks in Ireland increased by 1.3 per cent from €99.3 million to €100.6 million in 2019.

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