Morning business news - February 26

Tuesday 26 February 2013 11.12
Morning business news with Brian Finn
Morning business news with Brian Finn

KERRY BOSS BELIEVES IRELAND WILL EMERGE WITH REPUTATION INTACT AFTER HORSEMEAT SCANDAL - The chief executive of the Kerry Group has said the company has no plans to move its main stock exchange listing from Dublin to London following this morning's announcement by DCC that it was suspending trading in Dublin. Stan McCarthy said such a move would not create value for its shareholders.

The Kerry boss made his comments as the company announced sales revenue rose by 10% to €5.8 billion for 2012. The company's trading profit was up nearly 11% to €555m. Stan McCarthy says he believed Ireland would emerge with its reputation intact following the horsemeat scandal. "It's pretty narrow in terms of the damage. Our reputation in terms of how we've handled the problem has been very good and that will stand to us in the future in regaining the position we had,'' he states. Mr McCarthy also says he is confident that Kerry would remain untainted by the scandal. "Our products have been tested extensively and all the tests have come back negative. Trust with consumer with regard to beef products has been breached. We will continue to test under the new protocol of DNA testing which will be part of the future of quality control around food."

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CRH SET TO CONTINUE WITH M&A ACTIVITY THIS YEAR - CRH chief executive Myles Lee has announced that he is to retire from the company at the end of the year. Mr Lee says the decision was personal as he reaches 60 this year. The company announced this morning that its pre-tax profits fell by 5% to €674m. Sales revenue rose 3% to €18.7 billion.

Mr Lee rejects suggestions that the company had little exposure to emerging markets, as pointed to in a recent note from Stockbrokers Merrion who advised a sell on CRH. "Different companies have different exposures and we have a good exposure to emerging markets in Eastern Europe with positions in Poland and Ukraine. We've good platforms in India and China which we hope to develop and we've a big exposure in the US market which has shown positive trends. We've got very good footprints in the developed world and some good prospects in the developing world,'' he says. He says the company had a good level of activity last year on the M&A front which would continue into this year. "We'd look to a good flow of development opportunities and we have the balance sheet to support that with a further half billion reduction in debt last year. We've a strong BBB+ rating from S&P's,'' he adds.

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MORNING BRIEFS - US senators have called on the European Union to do more to stop the Iranian government from using the European Central Bank for its operations. The call - in a letter to the European Authorities - comes as talks between Iran and western powers get under way to try to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear programme. The senators say the ECB's payment system may be inadvertently aiding Tehran in financing its nuclear programme by converting euro into local currency and conducting trade.

*** The Contact Centre Management Association is hosting a free jobs fair today at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. More than 25 international companies including Amazon, EA Games and PayPal are participating with over 800 vacancies on offer, they say. They are looking for people with a wide variety of skills with an emphasis on social media and communications skills.