Plain English Campaign to hit Irish shores - Many Irish businesses or companies are wondering why they are not being understood in their dealings with customers and investors. This lack of understanding might be to do with the fact that a company's written and verbal communications with customers and staff are so confusing that they have not a clue what they are actually saying. Help is at hand and an organisation known as the Plain English Campaign is on its way to Dublin to drum up some plain-talking business.

Ben Beer is a spokesman for the Plain English Campaign and he says the group's planned visit to Dublin next week is to raise its profile in the country. He says that the Plain English Campaign has done a huge amount of work in the English speaking world, but do not have a high profile here. The campaign, however, has done a lot of work with Irish Life and Permanent here, and has also done work with Bupa Ireland and AIB.

The company basically re-edits company documents into 'plain English' as the ordinary person can understand them. He says that companies need to understand that clearer documents will help their profitability in the long run, and adds that the campaign does not insist that companies take on their advice.

Mr Beer says that buzz words like globalisation and infrastructure are creeping into everyday documents. He wants to see the end of management speak - with phrases like going forward and pipeline - appearing in letters to customers.

***
Energy price hikes to be announced today - The Commission for Energy Regulation will this evening announce rises in the price of gas and electricity which will come into effect on 1st October next. Domestic gas prices are set to rise by about 25%, while electricity prices will most likely rise by over 3%. The Commission first set out these likely price rises in early August - but gave the energy industry time to express their views on the proposed increases. In the wake of recent hikes in the price of oil and gas, the Commission has been coming under pressure to sign off on higher price increases but they may resist those overtures. Nonetheless, bigger fuel bills for householders on the way for sure. Meanwhile, US light crude is trading at around $65 a barrel in Asia this morning, while London Brent crude is being quoted at $63.50

***
Morning briefs - Glanbia is to close its cheese-making plant at Kilmeaden in Co Waterford with the loss of 45 mainly seasonal jobs.

*** The Government is to invest €3.5m in a new biopharmaceutical training facility in Carrigaline, Co Cork. The idea is to provide more skilled workers in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.

*** The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has announced it plans to press on with the issuing of nine new radio licences, including what is being described as a quasi-national licence. A licence for the country's first multi-city radio station is to be advertised - this is described as a classic gold, easy listening service for over-45s in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland has expressed concern about what it describes as this 'vast level of additional competition'.

*** Online travel booking firm Datalex has reported a pre-tax profit of $1m for the six months to the end of June 2005, up from a loss of $0.5m the same time last year.

*** E-learning group Thirdforce has reported a loss of €498,000 for the first six months of the year, a reduction of 29% on the same time last year. The company also announced this morning that it has bought UK company Creative Learning Media for €5.2m in a cash and shares deal.