HomeBussinessA €5bn electricity bill, an apology from CRH and the price of...

A €5bn electricity bill, an apology from CRH and the price of a pint


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The future of Irish energy may come largely from offshore wind but, as Barry O’Halloran reports, homes and business face a big bill for it. A new report shows the cost of running electricity from offshore turbines to the grid will be about €5 billion, and consumers will pay. The details come in a paper issued by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

The latest data on housing completions, reports Eoin Burke-Kennedy, shows new homes fell by more than 12 per cent in the first quarter of the year. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) there were 5,841 new dwelling completions, mirroring other indicators of slowing activity in the sector.

CRH chairman Richie Boucher apologised to shareholders at its annual general meeting on Thursday for issues with the management of its share register in the US. Joe Brennan reports on what went wrong, stirring what Mr Boucher referred to as “frustration” among some investors. Last year it decided to move its main stock market quotation from London to Wall Street and drop its Irish listing.

Workday, the US enterprise technology company, has done a u-turn on its plans to build a European headquarters at Dublin’s Grangegorman. Instead, reports Ian Curran, the software company is opting for a city centre premises, it would likely turnaround more quickly than going through the planning process. Whatever the new location, the company has said it will facilitate an expansion of its Irish headcount from around 2,000 to 2,300.

There are important industrial and economic aspects to climate change. In his column, John FitzGerald says the world’s wealthiest countries must invest in cheap, effective technologies to tackle global warming, which poorer countries can then afford. However, concern is mounting in Europe that China has been too successful in developing cheap electric vehicles, windmills and solar panels. Should Europe look to the skies?

Have you ever wondered who buys the lovely country dwelling that sporadically pops up on the market? Well a new report from Savills, writes Ian Curran, shows the boom is driven solidly by foreign-based purchasers. 2023 transactions reached €190.6 million, with Kildare leading the way.

Barry O’Halloran brings us through the finances at Coillte, the State forestry company which has seen timber prices drop, halving profits to €61 million. Revenues and operating profit fell, but chief executive Imelda Hurley said the financial performance was solid in the face of significant headwinds. It handed out €17.7 million in dividends to the Exchequer last year, including a final dividend of €7.7 million for 2022.

At Ardagh Group, the glass and metal packaging firm, revenue declined to $2.11 (€2.02 billion) in the first quarter of the year, from $2.27 billion for the same period last year. Joe Brennan takes a look at the numbers and reports that the Group is considering its options to reduce the burden of its $12.3 billion (€11.5 billion) net debt.

Long-famed for its music and tourist-allure, O’Donoghue’s on Dublin’s Merrion Row has finally returned to profit following a knock from Covid-19 restrictions that affected the industry widely. Gordon Deegan reports on new accounts that show the Barden family-owned pub recorded post tax profits of €215,886 last year.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has said the level of penalties faced by big business for breaches of consumer protection is insufficient, reports Ian Curran. It comes as the watchdog warned pub owners of their requirement to display information on the price of their drinks, “particularly in light of rising prices.” Thirteen named traders were hit with €300 fines for failing to follow the rules.

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