Today in the pressWednesday 15 January 2014 10.18
NEST MAY STILL BRANCH INTO DUBLIN AFTER $3.2 BILLION SALE TO GOOGLE - Nest Labs Inc, the smart home devices company, was in the process of opening a Dublin office just prior to its sale for $3.2 billion to Google this week. Nest first held discussions with the IDA late last year about setting up its European office in Dublin to provide sales and support for its internet connected devices like thermostats and smoke alarms. However, a decision looks likely to be stalled for the moment until after its sale conclusion, writes the Irish Times. Ireland’s foreign direct investment agency is understood to remain hopeful that Nest will locate here under its new owners Google who recently demonstrated its commitment to Dublin by agreeing terms to buy the Grand Mill Quay building in Dublin’s docklands from Nama for €65 million. It is possible this new addition to Google’s Dublin docklands campus could house Nest. Google’s new building was build by bankrupt developer Bernard McNamara and was being managed prior to its sale by receiver Declan Taite of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. Tony Fadell, the chief executive of Nest, who previously worked on developing the iPhone and iPad for Apple, attended the Web Summit in October 2013. He used part of his trip to review potential locations for Nest capable of employing up to 100 people over time in sales and marketing as well as product localisation, support and logistics.
PROFIT AT McCABES PHARMACY CHAIN RISES 40% AS RETAIL SALES INCREASE - Operating profits at the company that operates the McCabe pharmacy group soared 40% to €7.59m in the group's last financial year. Accounts just filed by Behey Ltd to the Companies Office show that the group saw operating profits jump after revenues increased 7% to €57.9m in the 12 months to the end of January 2013, reports the Irish Independent. The family-owned business, led by MD Sharen McCabe, operates 20 pharmacies across the country with the majority located in Dublin, while the group also runs the Radisson Blu Farnham Estate hotel in Co Cavan. The figures show that the group recorded a modest pre-tax loss of €74,520 after interest payments of €4.97m and non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €2.7m are taken into account. The loss last year compares to a pre-tax loss of €3.4m in fiscal 2012. Numbers employed last year increased by 24 to 454 and the group's staff costs rose from €10.1m to €10.8m. According to the directors' report on the performance of the pharmacy outlets, "turnover increased due to a good performance from the retail side of the business and increased volumes in the dispensary. Gross margins also improved due to careful purchasing and management of direct costs".
IRELAND GOT SAME ECB MESSAGE AS EURO ZONE -The ECB’s message to the Government at the height of the economic crisis was the same as that sent to other euro zone countries including Germany and France, according to Jean-Claude Trichet, the bank’s former president. Speaking at the European Parliament’s economics committee yesterday, Trichet said euro zone members were ready to hang Ireland and other troubled economies out to dry and leave it to the IMF to come up with a bailout and conditions for a rescue at the start of the crisis. He claimed Ireland was “probably right” in being the first country in the world to give a blanket guarantee to bank investors, says the Irish Examiner. He said some euro zone leaders had interpreted the ‘no bailout clause’ literally and that it took some time for them to agree to devise a rescue plan and engage the IMF. “I was extremely worried at the beginning as I saw a temptation in a number of democracies [that] they should not help, in any respect, countries in difficulties as this was the job of the IMF alone,” Trichet said, adding that the interpretation of the no bailout principle was “don’t count on us”. He said the government was responsible for the decision not to burn bondholders, and believed this was the correct move at the time.
NASDAQ TO END ‘GLITCH’ DATA FEED CONTRACT - Nasdaq OMX has terminated its long-term stewardship of a critical piece of US stock market infrastructure that suffered a high-profile glitch in August, crippling share trading for three hours. According to letters obtained by the Financial Times, Nasdaq said that it would not renew a contract that allowed it to administer and distribute data for a stock market feed that consolidates all quotes and trades for shares listed on its exchange. Nasdaq faced sharp criticism from investors when the feed, known as the UTP Securities Information Processor, failed in August and created a situation where traders were no longer receiving fresh stock prices. It also faced regulatory pressure to improve the feed’s resilience. Technology changes to the SIP, which is operated by committee, must be unanimously approved by regulators and a group of US exchanges that share in the revenue generated from selling the market data to brokers and distributors such as Bloomberg. Committee members include representatives from the New York Stock Exchange, CBOE, DirectEdge, BATS and other exchanges.