Morning business news - June 26Thursday 26 June 2014 10.52
Adroll is opening new offices in Dublin today and the US company is going to fill them by hiring an additional 100 staff, bringing its total headcount here to 220. Adroll's business is internet ad retargeting. It is used by 15,000 advertisers across the globe.
Adroll's chief executive Aaron Bell says the company is expanding its headcount in Dublin due to rising demand for its services across Europe. Explaining how the company works, Mr Bell says that retargeting uses information online which retailers have collected on consumers to track them as they visit other websites and encourage them to return and make additional purchases. The company works with 15,000 advertisers worldwide.
Mr Bell says that Dublin is a great place for the company's European headquarters as it offers a highly skilled and multi-lingual workforce. The company is really excited about its future, and Mr Bell points out that there are twice as many internet users in Europe compared to the US. He said the company sees the European, Middle East and Africa region as an engine for growth in the years ahead.
MORNING BRIEFS - One in four loans to small and medium enterprises here is in default. A report by the Central Bank on small business debt shows just over a quarter of the loans are impaired accounting for 41% of the €21 billion owed by SMEs - €8.6 billion in arrears. The average SME loan balance is €71,000. That figure is slightly distorted by some of the larger enterprises, and the median figure, stripping out the biggest and smallest loans and averaging the rest, is just under €10,000. The Central Bank notes demand from small and medium companies for credit is beginning to pick up. The proportion of applications being rejected has fallen from 30% to 20%. The report says the bulk of demand is either for working capital or for restructuring with little appetite for funding to invest in expansion. It also notes the proportion of Irish companies saying they are discouraged from applying for loans because they believe their applications will be rejected is among the highest in Europe and significantly ahead of the EU average.
*** Innovative, a Californian company which specialises in technology used by libraries, is expanding its presence in Ireland. The company plans to hire another 25 staff at its European headquarters in Dublin. That will double its presence here by the end of 2015. That expansion is supported by IDA Ireland.
*** The low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle is looking at offering direct flights between Dublin and Bangkok. Such a service would be the first direct route between Ireland and the popular tourist destination. A spokesman for the airline is quoted in this morning's Irish Times as saying it is considering launching the route next year.
*** Google unveiled a number of new smartwatches running its technology at its developers conference in San Francisco overnight. The new Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch use Google's Android wear technology to enable a number of internet based services including responding to voice commands from users and displaying notifications coming through the wearer's phone.