Today in the pressThursday 31 July 2014 09.57
AIB IN TALKS WITH DEVLEOPERS TO BUILD 5,000 HOMES - AIB is in talks with six property developers about providing finance to build more than 5,000 homes in the greater Dublin area, in a bid to kick-start construction and provide housing for first-time buyers, reports The Irish Times.
In a podcast interview with newspaper yesterday, AIB chief executive David Duffy said the bank could provide between €500 million and €1 billion a year in finance, “depending on what gets off the ground and is approved in planning permissions”.
“Some of it will be development finance, some of it in construction, some in mortgages: it’s different categories of finance,” he added.
Mr Duffy, speaking on the day AIB announced a return to profit of €437 million, said the new homes would be a mix of houses and apartments.
AIB is in discussion with Dublin City Council around densities and potential planning issues and he said some developers have up to a dozen potential sites for new homes.
O’LEARY PAY BOOSTED BY BONUS RISE – The Irish Examiner reports that Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary was paid almost €5,000 a day in pay by the airline last year after receiving a 55% increase in bonus pay.
New figures show that the colourful 53-year-old chief executive secured an overall 37% pay increase in the 12 months to March 31 this year to €1.7m or €4,797 a day, as he oversaw the airline achieve revenues topping €5bn and pre-tax profits of €591.4m.
The pre-tax profits achieved represented a 9% drop on the €650.9m in pre-tax profits in the 2013 fiscal year.
However, O’Leary is being rewarded by the airline after overhauling the way Ryanair interacts with its customers, by remodelling the airline and its website to a new customer-friendly model.
O’Leary also laid the foundation for long-term growth last year by agreeing to purchase 180 new aircraft from Boeing, with the first to be delivered by September of this year.
According to the airline’s 2014 annual report, published yesterday, Mr O’Leary secured the increase in pay through an annual gross salary of €968,425 and topped it up with a bonus of €783,000. This compares to a gross salary of €768,000 and bonus of €504,000 paid to O’Leary in 2012-2013.
However, Mr O’Leary’s pay is dwarfed by the value of his 3.7% share in the airline that yesterday had a market value of €355m based on the airline’s current market capitalisation of €9.59bn.
AER LINGUS TO LAUNCH NEW NORTH AMERICAN ROUTES - Aer Lingus is set to add new routes and extra capacity to North America, according to The Irish Independent, after reporting its best trading in at least five years and reversing a profit warning it issued in June.
A service to Dallas is one of the options that the airline might be considering.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Christoph Mueller, chief executive, confirmed that new services are on track following the success of new routes to San Francisco and Toronto from Dublin this summer.
"I will not mention any destinations but we have very concrete plans," Mr Mueller, pictured right, said. He added that those plans would come to fruition before he leaves the airline next May.
"There is more good news to come and that will happen while I am still here."
Chief commercial officer Stephen Kavanagh confirmed that new services would have to be communicated to the trade by the end of the third quarter in order to be in place for next summer.
Dublin Airport Authority chief Kevin Toland recently said that he sees scope for services from Dublin to US states such as Texas.