Morning business news - February 13Thursday 13 February 2014 09.37
Superquinn's 24 shops officially become Supervalu today, bringing to 223 the number of Supervalu stores in the country.
According to Supervalu’s managing director Martin Kelleher, the rebranding would help bring “the best of both worlds together to improve the offering for all shoppers”.
Supervalu has performed well in recent years, seeing its market share grow despite the recession, however most of its activity has remained outside of Dublin.
Mr Kelleher said that the rebranding of Superquinn will go a long way to correcting that imbalance:
“Traditionally we haven’t had as many stores in Dublin, where we’ve had a market share of in or around 7%,” he said. “That today jumps to 20%, so that is giving us an opportunity to bring what Supervalu offers to every community in Ireland.”
The addition of the Superquinn stores will also make Supervalu the second biggest grocery retailer in the country.
When asked if the goal was to eventually take the top spot from Tesco, Mr Kelleher said the goal was “to do right by our shoppers and keep giving them what they want.
“The market share will look after itself after that”, he said, though he added that it would be nice to see an Irish company become the supermarket of choice in the Irish market.
KBC Bank Ireland has taken an additional €671 million impairment charge for the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing its total impairment charge for the year here past a billion euro.
The Belgian-owned bank had signalled such a move in November here reflecting a view that the level of bad debts in Ireland will be higher than previously expected.
In a statement KBC referred to slower-than-expected recovery in the small and medium enterprise sector.
The cable TV company Comcast has agreed a $45 billion deal to take over Time Warner cable.
If approved by competition authorities in the US the merger would create one of the biggest media companies and cable providers in that market.
The two, between them, would have around 30 million subscribers and around 33% market share.
Time Warner had been subject to a hostile takeover bid by Charter, a company controlled by the billionaire John Malone who also owns the company behind UPC in Ireland.
The euro has fallen to a three week low of just under 82p against sterling
It also dropped from almost $1.37 to $1.359.
Partly the foreign exchange moves are to do with an upbeat assessment of the UK economy by the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney.
He's also assuaged fears among some investors that the BoE would hike interest rates in the near future, committing to an extended period of ultra low rates until recovery takes hold.