ONE GRAFTON ST LEASE SIGNED SINCE 2010 - The Irish Times reports that just one lease has been signed for a retail property on Dublin’s Grafton Street since the beginning of 2010, according to the new commercial lease database that opened for business yesterday.

The database, operated by the Property Services Regulatory Authority, shows that only two retail leases were signed on Henry Street, Dublin, the busiest shopping street in the Republic.

No new retail leases were registered for Shop Street in Galway or Patrick Street in Cork, and only one for Henry Street in Limerick.

A 15-year lease, for the basement, ground floor and first, second and third floors of 43 Grafton Street, was signed in November of last year and involves an annual rent of €305,000, to be paid quarterly.

No capital consideration or premium was paid or received at the outset of the lease, which comes up for review every five years.

The floor area for the lease is 411sq m, with 216 of that being on the ground floor. The tenants are 100% responsible for the fit-out.

Danish fashion business Only runs an outlet at 43 Grafton Street.

The database does not disclose the identities of the tenants or the landlords for the leases listed. It is understood the previous tenant of this property paid a rent of €445,000 per annum.


ANGLO LIQUIDATORS REHIRING BANK STAFF - The special liquidators of the former Anglo Irish Bank are rehiring staff who left before it was liquidated, according to The Irish Independent.

The returning staff, who union chiefs claim received redundancy payouts, are understood to be working alongside staff who are facing only statutory redundancy terms, according to the Irish Bank Officials Association.

The 800 staff at the bank had their contracts with the former lender and Irish Nationwide terminated when the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation was rushed into a dramatic liquidation on February 7, at the behest of Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

The bulk of staff were rehired on monthly contracts by the special liquidators who were charged with selling off the remains of the bank, or transferring any assets to the National Asset Management Agency.

But employees want formerly agreed redundancy packages to be reinstated, and have held a number of meetings with the special liquidators.


BT SCORES EARLY WIN IN SPORTS BATTLE WITH SKY - BT has signed up more than 2m customers for its new sports channels, marking early success in its battle with BSkyB, reports The Financial Times.
However, the costly launch of BT Sport and the acquisition of sports rights for the channels weighed on earnings at BT, which is embroiled in a big gamble to win high spending TV and broadband customers against rival BSkyB.

BT’s share price, which has risen 60% this year as investors have embraced the more aggressive growth strategy, rose 2.4% to 378.2p on Thursday afternoon.

BT said that the clear majority of the 2m signed to its sports platform were existing customers who would get the channels for free.

This number doubled from August, and compares to 10.5m of paying BSkyB subscribers. An additional 70,000 new customers boosted BT’s overall pay TV platform to about 900,000 subscribers.

As importantly for BT, which is using TV to attract customers to its wider package of high speed fibre and calls, there were 156,000 new retail broadband customers in the quarter. This represented more than nine in ten of the overall broadband market net new customers in the period.