Morning business news - November 7Wednesday 07 November 2012 10.49
AER LINGUS PROFITS 'STRONG' DESPITE 'DISTRACTION' OF RYANAIR BID - Aer Lingus has reported operating profits of €90.9m for the three months to the end of September, down 2.9% on the same time last year. In an interim management statement, it said the ''strong' result was achieved despite weaker business demand on core routes to London during the Olympics and fuel price and airport charge inflation. Revenues for the three month period rose by 2.8% to €275.9m from €268.3m the same time last year.
On the Aer Lingus pensions row, chief executive Christoph Mueller says the airline has been engaged with the relevant parties for over a year, and up to recently, there had been signs of progress. He says the airline is committed to finding a solution to the issue. Mr Mueller said that the airline has always stated that will not support the Ryanair takeover bid for the company and has advised shareholders not the accept the offer. He says he is very ''proud'' of the company and the strong results achieved despite the ''distraction'' of the Ryanair bid.
FISCAL CLIFF FIRST ECONOMIC CHALLENGING FACING OBAMA - Americans have given President Barack Obama another chance to fix the ailing US economy - but what does the election result mean for Irish business? Peter O'Neill, an Irish chief executive of a US firm based here - IBM - and president of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, says that already Barack Obama has reached out to Republicans to help him restore the US economy and says the fiscal cliff is the immediate challenge facing the newly re-elected Democrat. This is the effect of a series of enacted legislation which, if unchanged, will result in tax increases, spending cuts, and a corresponding reduction in the US budget deficit. Mr O'Neill says the cliff has the potential to reduce US growth by two points, which is not good news for the US and the global economy as a whole. On Ireland, he says that US investment here has never been stronger and the country remains in a good position with regard to FDI from the US.
MORNING BRIEFS - Eugene Sheehy, the former AIB Group chief executive, has agreed to a pension cut after Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the bank's former managers had a "moral responsibility" to reduce their retirement payments over the failure of the bank. The Irish Times reports that Mr Sheehy will take a cut in his annual pension to €250,000 from between €300,000 and €325,000.