Morning business news - July 18

Thursday 18 July 2013 09.51
Morning business news - July 18
Morning business news - July 18

Bord Iascaigh Mhara is targeting €1 billion in sales and 1,200 new jobs by 2017.

The State agency responsible for developing the seafood and aquaculture industries says aquaculture will be central to this five-year plan for the seafood sector.

Ireland has Europe's second biggest sea area and, BIM says, is in an ideal position to meet the surge in global demand for seafood, especially among the growing middle class in China.

“We’re talking about a wide range of seafood but aquaculture, because of the lack of quota controls, offers particular potential,” said Jason Whooley, chief executive of BIM.

Mr Whooley said said the agency was investigation the possibility of identifying new species that are in Irish waters, to see if there was any commercial interest in them.

“There’s a fish out there currently that we are only fishing for the last two years under quota called Boarfish, it’s a recently discovered fish off the Irish coast”, he said.

“It amounts to 57,000 tonnes of quota for Irish fishermen, that’s given us a massive boost as an industry over the years and we’d like to think that with further investigation there are other species out there that we can exploit.”

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Bank of Ireland has come last and Ulster Bank second last in a banking study of UK consumers in Which magazine.

Of the worst banks in the UK - according to Which's survey - Bank of Ireland had a consumer satisfaction rating of just 41%, and Ulster Bank's was 45%.

Bank of Ireland performed badly in relation to customer service, regular communication, clarity of statements and branch availability.

Ulster Bank's poor rating was blamed in part on the computer faults it suffered this year and last summer.

In a statement this morning Bank of Ireland said that recent research conducted on its behalf by an independent research company of 4,000 people, of whom 350 are Bank of Ireland customers, showed that 90% of customers are satisfied or very satisfied with the bank.

The bank said it will continue to strive to improve on this figure.

Earlier this year 13,500 UK homeowners saw increases in tracker mortgages taken out with Bank of Ireland - even though some had taken out lifetime tracker deals linked to the Bank of England's base interest rate - which has remained at a historic low of 0.5% for the last four years.

And Ulster Bank's reputation has been hurt by branch closures, financial woes and IT problems.

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Two tech firms with big Irish operations - IBM and Intel - have reported drops in net income.

Intel reported a second-quarter profit of $2 billion, down 29% from a year ago. And IBM saw earnings for the same period fall 17% to $3.23 billion.

Revenue for both companies also fell, with IBM's falling by 3% and Intel's down 5%.

Intel suffered as consumers and businesses switched away from traditional computers, while IBM made less on hardware and more on software.

Last quarter, IBM's revenues and profit fell short of analysts' forecasts for the first time in eight years.

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Online retailer and auction site eBay has warned of economic "headwinds" in Europe and South Korea after an 8% slide in second-quarter profits.

The firm reported net income of $640m for the three months to the end of June, down from the $692m it made in the same period of 2012.

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Albert Manifold has been named as the new chief executive of building materials group CRH, when Myles Lees steps down in the new year.

Mr Manifold has been a Board member and CRH Chief Operating Officer since January 2009.