Morning business news - March 6Thursday 06 March 2014 10.55
Shannon College of Hotel Management's 92 fifth year students graduate today. They are guaranteed employment at many of the world's best hotels, including the Savoy Hotel in London and the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Philip Smyth, director of the Shannon College of Hotel Management, says that the quality of the students are key to their success. Mr Smyth says that international hotel group really like Irish managers as they have an innate sense of friendliness and hospitality. The fact that the students have two substantial placements during their college course also makes them very employable, he adds.
The course has been running for the past 63 years and Mr Smyth says that most of their contacts with the big global hotel chains are through former students. He says the companies have come to trust the course and the standard of students that emerge from it.
MORNING BRIEFS - Results this morning from Irish Continental Group show that its revenues for the year to the end of December rose by 3.4% to 264.7, while its operating profits increased by 13.2% to 30m.
*** Aer Lingus passenger figures for last month show that its total traffic, including Aer Lingus Regional, was down 1.2% to 640,000 passengers compared to February 2013. Its long haul passengers increased by 7% to 46,000, while short haul passenger numbers were down 3.8% to 512,000 in February 2014. The overall passenger load factor in last month was 67.3% compared to 68.3% for the same month in 2013.
*** Paddy Power has been told in the UK to withdraw its Oscar Pistorius ad with "immediate effect" after it became the most complained-about UK campaign ever. More than 5,200 complaints were made by yesterday, the Advertising Standards Authority said. The ASA said it was investigating whether the ad is "offensive for trivialising the issues surrounding a murder trial, the death of a woman and disability". The ASA is also investigating whether it "brings the good reputation of advertising generally into dispute". ASA chairman Lord Smith said it had taken the "unusual step" of directing the advertiser to withdraw the campaign before the outcome of an investigation. The number of complaints at over 5,000 is much bigger than the previous most complained about ad, which was in 2005 for Kentucky Fried Chicken with 1,671 complaints.