Morning business news - January 24

Thursday 24 January 2013 10.47
Morning business news with Brian Finn
Morning business news with Brian Finn

CPL RESOURCES SEEING STRONG DEMAND FOR JOBS IN TECHNOLOGY, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING - Dublin and London listed CPL Resources has reported revenues of €161.7m for the six months ended December - up 13% on last year. Pre-tax profits of €5.9 million were recorded - up 30% on the same half last year.

Anne Heraty, chief executive of CPL Resources, says that signs of stability were appearing in the jobs market. The number of permanent placements were up 21%, which was a positive development, she notes. But difficult conditions still remain, she cautions. "There's a lag period in recovery in demand in the economy and job creation. There was a recovery in the third quarter of 2012 but it will take some time for the unemployment rate to come down,'' the CPL CEO says.

The areas of technology, finance and accounting are reported to be performing particularly well with a big demand for multilingual skills. IT is particularly strong, Anne Heraty says, with some skills shortages evident. "If we've shortages, we look outside of Ireland. We are also expanding outside Ireland. We've jobs in Canada and the Middle East, particularly in construction," she says. But employment levels in construction in Ireland are still at low levels, she adds. Looking to the next six months, CPL expects conditions to remain stable and are hoping for a similar performance for the next six months. Much depends on the gradual improvement in the general economy, Ms Heraty says.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Bookies Ladbrokes has agreed to acquire Betdaq from TBH Ltd. The deal is reported to be worth €30m. Betdaq was set up by billionaire Dermot Desmond in 2000. Ladbrokes had recently been rumoured to be in talks with Betdaq. The acquisition is understood to be an attempt by the company to boost its faltering online business.

*** Apple has missed Wall Street's revenue forecast for the third quarter in a row. The company's results for the December quarter showed profits of just over $13 billion on revenue of $54.5 billion. iPhone sales came in below expectations prompting shares to fall 10% to $463 in after-hours trading, wiping some $50 billion off its market value. They had already fallen from highs of over $700 reached last summer. Apple said it shipped a record 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, up 29% from the same period last year but below the 50 million shipments that analysts on average had expected.

*** The International Trade Commission is to review a judge's decision that Samsung violated four Apple patents to make smartphones and tablets. Part of the dispute has been sent back to the judge who has been asked to look at portions of two patents where he had found that Samsung infringed.

*** New data from Providence Resources this morning shows that a well in the Rathlin basin just off the coast of Northern Ireland has significant oil potential. The so called p50 tests - which indicates a 50% probability of a quantity being present - shows that it could contain over 500 million barrels of oil. The results beat pre-survey expectations and the company is planning on a drilling programme starting next year.