DANSKE BANK TAKES €5.5M IMPAIRMENT CHARGE - Danske Bank Ireland, formerly National Irish Bank, has reported a pre-tax loss of €8.8m for the first three months of the year. That includes a €5.5m charge related to impaired loans. Over the previous three months Danske had taken a charge of nearly €16m and reported a €15m pre-tax loss. If those figures sound quite small it is because Danske is now reporting only ''core business'' which encompasses personal and business banking. Danske said it expects the non-core division, which includes commercial property loans - where the bulk of the losses are - to result in impairments of 2.5 billion Danish krone between 2013 and 2014. That equates to €335m.
FEEDHENRY SECURES €7M IN NEW FUNDING AND PROMISES 100 NEW JOBS - Waterford technology company Feedhenry has raised €7m in new funding led by the venture capital arm of technology giant Intel. Using the new funding it is aiming to expand and in the process hopes to recruit up to 100 new employees between now and 2015.
Cathal McGloin, Feedhenry's chief executive, says that recruitment is to begin immediately for software engineers, project managers and business analysts. Explaining what the company does, Mr McGloin says it has mobile app software which is hosted in the cloud and helps companies build mobile apps for their businesses. He says that due to the explosion of mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, more and more companies are making the move towards this type of business. Feedhenry's software allows these companies to build and launch the apps faster and in secure way. He says that Irish tech companies are well able to compete on a global basis, adding that Feedhenry will use the money for growth and expansion and is looking at the French and German markets, as well as North America.
MORNING BRIEFS - Investors are betting and polls of economists by the newswires all suggest that the European Central Bank will cut is base interest rate to a new record low of half a per cent at its monthly governing council meeting later today. Inflation across the euro zone is well below the 2% annual rate which the ECB is committed to maintaining. That provides the cover necessary for a rate cut. Combined with weakness across europe's major economies the script appears to be written for ECB president Mario Draghi to deliver what would be the third rate cut of his tenure. Interesting political backdrop to today's announcement though as just last week German chancellor Angela Merkel took the unusual step of asserting that Germany probably would need interest rates to be higher than their current level.
*** West Cork's Carbery Group has reported a 22% rise in profit to €10.5m on turnover of €285m. In its results statement, Carbery noted the inclement weather and difficult conditions for dairy farmers and the need to support milk suppliers. Carbery, which is owned by a group of four co-ops, said that 2013 should be a solid year with lower milk output, particularly in New Zealand, improving market sentiment and supporting prices.