This week: Applegreen AGM, Dell results, employment conference in Dublin

World Employment Conference to focus on how to attract the best workers

Applegreen is likely to issue a short trading update this week to coincide with its AGM in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Applegreen is likely to issue a short trading update this week to coincide with its AGM in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

MONDAY

Results: Dell Technologies.

Indicators: Euro-zone producer price index (PPI) (Apr); UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) (May); US factory orders (Apr).

TUESDAY

Indicators: Irish industrial production (Apr); euro-zone composite and services PMI (May), retail sales (Apr); UK services PMI (May), new car sales (May); German composite and services PMI (May); US composite and services PMI (May), economic optimism (Jun).

Meetings: Entrepreneur Academy with ExaltLab on how to build a business in Ireland (Irish Computer Society, Pembroke Road, Dublin 4).

WEDNESDAY

Indicators: Irish services PMI (May), unemployment (May); euro-zone retail PMI (May); German construction PMI (May); US imports and exports (Apr).

Meetings: Applegreen AGM (Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin 4); World Employment Conference (Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin); Future Travel Experience Europe airline and airport technology event (RDS, Dublin 4).

Applegreen in position to expand

Things have been relatively quiet in the world of Applegreen in recent times and, heading toward its AGM on Wednesday, the ongoing questions are around where this growing empire will fix its sights next.

The Irish forecourt and retail business is in a strong financial position to make acquisitions – the question is when and where.

Allan Smylie, analyst at Davy, says their options are to expand in the Republic, currently the home of two-thirds of its business; in the UK where market prices have been stabilising; or look to the US.

“That’s what gets people excited,” he says of the US option. “It’s still very small [for Applegreen] but obviously it’s a massive market and valuations are lower, more reasonable. It looks like a more attractive market.”

Applegreen is also likely to issue a short trading update this week to coincide with its meeting but nobody is expecting anything major to emerge.

Results last March showed 2017 profits rising on the back of strong fuel margins, recent acquisitions and like-for-like growth in stores. It added 99 sites, bringing its total to 342.

“The significant acquisitions completed in 2017 are performing as expected,” its chief executive Bob Etchingham said, “and we are well placed to progress both our organic and acquisition-led development plans in the coming year.”

Key question for employment conference

Whether embraced or frowned upon, the shifting constitution of workplaces – full time, part time, freelance, agency staff and others – is an increasing challenge to employers.

The World Employment Conference, which begins in Dublin on Wednesday, will naturally focus much of its attention on the key question: just how to attract the best workers.

“For the first time in Ireland we are bringing together the recruitment service industry and the wider HR community, alongside their global peers, to facilitate industry networking and crucial learning,” said Frank Farrelly, president of the National Recruitment Federation, which is organising the conference.

As well as the how and where of finding the best employees, contributors will debate the role of technology in the process, and whether successful recruitment practices are enhanced by artificial intelligence and other search and assessment tools.

Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty will discuss specific issues relating to employment in Ireland.

Economist David McWilliams will look at the rise of the “gig economy”, while Barry Asin, an expert on workforce solutions in the US, and Mary Lucas, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the area, will discuss global trends and outlooks for different workforce models.

THURSDAY

Indicators: Irish inflation (May); euro-zone GDP (Q1); UK house price index (May); German factory orders (Apr).

Meetings: Irish Pension Fund Investors’ Conference (Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2); Ibec Manufacturing Conference – New Thinking in Enterprise Excellence (Galmont Hotel, Lough Atalia, Galway).

FRIDAY

Indicators: Irish consumer confidence (May), construction output (Q1); German exports and imports (Apr), industrial production (Apr).

Meetings: Inaugural Retail Ireland annual lunch (Conrad Hotel, Dublin).

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