Morning business news - May 21

Wednesday 21 May 2014 12.29
Morning business news - May 21

Irish-based but London-listed DCC's business spans technology, energy, healthcare, food and beverages. 

And across its many divisions DCC is seeing growth according to annual results published this morning.

Pre tax profit was up 13.7% - ahead of expectations - to £151m and revenue was 6% higher at £11.2 billion.

Company CEO Tommy Breen said it had been a good year for the company across all divisions – but health and technology were certainly the best performers.
 
“We’ve had very strong organic growth in technology, driven primarily by our business in Britain where we have very strong market share in mobile computing and communications products,” he said.

“Our healthcare was driven by some acquisition contributions and also from some very good organic growth from our health and beauty business there.”

Mr Breen said the approach of DCC all through its history was to drive organic growth but also to make acquisitions to boost its business – with the company making 200 such deals in the past 12 years.

“The strategy’s pretty consistent and we’re hoping to keep that going,” he said – citing in particular a recent move into the Swedish market through the acquisition of an unmanned fuel station network.

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Permanent TSB says the amount of money it needs to write off due to mortgage defaults will fall significantly compared to 2012 and 2013 levels.

In a trading statement ahead of its annual shareholder meeting today PTSB says total mortgage arrears are now 10% below peak levels hit last year.

The number of mortgage approvals is up 80% so far this year compared to the same period last year, albeit from a low base. PTSB says its share of mortgage drawdowns is 13% compared to a historic low of 1.6% during the fourth quarter of last year.

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Health insurer Laya is opening a new headquarters in Dublin this morning and is in the process of recruiting 50 new jobs to support its expansion.

Laya currently employs 440 staff between Cork and Dublin. The 50 new roles will be in sales, customer service and on its insurance claims team and are expected to be created over the next two years.

Laya managing director Dónal Clancy said the insurer is growing its membership base despite large numbers of health insurance consumers exiting the Irish market each year due to rising premiums.

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Google has overtaken Apple as the world's most valuable brand according to the annual Brandz top 100 list.

Compiled by research firm Millward Brown following interviews with 2 million consumers and commissioned by advertising agency WPP the Brandz list puts Google top with a value of $159 billion.

Apple's brand value has fallen 20% to $148 billion according to its calculations. Six of the top ten are technology companies though the fastest growing brands on the list in terms of value are clothing brands including Adidas, Nike and Uniqlo.