Morning business news - January 29

Wednesday 29 January 2014 10.33
Morning business news with Brian Finn
Morning business news with Brian Finn

The craft of whiskey distilling is on its way back to Dublin's Liberties. The Teeling Whiskey Company is opening a new distillery and Visitor Centre on Newmarket Square near St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin 8.

Jack Teeling explained that it revives an old family tradition which stretches back to 1872 when there were 37 small distilleries in Dublin's Liberties, some of which went on to become the biggest distilleries in the world. "Our vision is to revive that old tradition in Dublin and lead a new golden era for Irish whiskey," he stated.

At least 30 full time jobs will be created across the areas of distilling, operations, warehousing, bottling and also in sales and marketing of the product to overseas markets. "A new generation of alcohol drinkers are discovering Irish whiskey. It comes down to the smooth and sweet taste. It's the right taste for younger people who are getting into spirits drinking," Jack Teeling said.

The growth of the Irish whiskey industry is in its relative infancy and is primed for big gains, according to Mr Teeling.
"Irish whiskey accounts for just 3.5% of the overall whiskey market, but we're the fastest growing spirit in the last 20 years. 90 million cases of Scotch are produced a year. We're at 6 million. There's plenty of room for catch up. The estimate is to double Irish whiskey sales between now and 2020," he said.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Drinks group Britvic has reiterated its guidance to deliver full year earnings before interest and taxes in the range of £148-156m sterling. Revenue was up 3% in its first quarter ended December 22. Its Irish operations recorded revenue growth of 2.1%.

***  Emerging market economies got a bit of a reprieve overnight with the decision by Turkey to raise interest rates. That put a floor under the Turkish currency, the lira, which had been under extreme pressure together with a host of other emerging market currencies. It also stemmed the tide of investors out of emerging stock markets and Asian stocks even enjoyed a bit of a rally overnight. However, they may simply be holding on to see what the US Federal Reserve decides to do tonight as regards its stimulus policy. If the Fed decides to cut stimulus again, it could ramp up the pressure on emerging markets with investors rushing back into safe havens like the dollar and US and European exchanges.

*** A recovery in Irish business activity appears to be gaining momentum, according to the quarterly business sentiment survey from KBC Bank and Chartered Accountants Ireland. It saw business activity strengthen for a fifth successive quarter with further improvement in output forecast for the rest of the year. Jobs growth is improving at a slower but sustained level and pressure on wages is fairly muted with just 1% of companies expecting to increase pay by more than 5% this year.

*** Shares in internet giant Yahoo fell in after hours trade, even though its results exceeded Wall Street expectations. However, it was the company's outlook that turned investors off. For the final quarter of 2013, Yahoo posted revenue of £1.2 billion and profits up 28% to $348m. Its share of the US digital ad market is declining and revenue from display ads is down 6%. Although Yahoo shares were down 5% overnight, they gained more than 80% over 2013.