Hotels group Dalata has reported strong growth in half year revenue, partly driven by the acquisition of new hotels. For the six months to the end of June it brought in €35m in revenue, up 31% year-on-year. It also made a pre-tax profit of €943,000 compared to a loss of €1.7m in the same period in 2013. The company says it is still actively pursuing opportunities to acquire new properties to manage. Alongside the results, Dalata says it has just reached agreement to buy the four star Tower hotel in Derry for £4.4m.  

Pat McCann, Dalata's chief executive, says the group had a positive start to the year with the Dublin hotel market continuing to strengthen. But Mr McCann also said there is now signs of recovery around the country, including Galway, Cork and Wexford - as the company had predicted. While acknowledging that the hotel industry still has a number of problems, he says that are still a lot of opportunities around with about 200 hotels still needing to be "fixed or sorted in some way". While a recovery is being seen in some areas of the market - especially in Dublin - the Dalata CEO said that there is some a lot of oversupply in some areas. He says some hotels will continue to face difficulties because of the simple fact that they were built in the wrong area - similar to problems in the housing industry.

Eamonn McKeon of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation recently said that Dublin needs to build as many as 30 additional hotels between now and 2020 to handle the expected growth in tourism and business. Mr McCann said that while he does not fully agree with the volume of hotels needed, he points out that the only new hotel to open in Dublin since 2007 was the Marker Hotel and he agrees there will be a need for new hotels in the city.

MORNING BRIEFS - The World Bank is warning of a global jobs crisis. In a study released at a G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Australia, the Bank said an extra 600 million jobs needed to be created worldwide by 2030 just to cope with the expanding population. The report, compiled with the OECD and International Labour Organisation, said over 100 million people were unemployed in G20 economies and 447 million were considered "working poor", living on less than $2 a day.

*** Each of up to 200 new jetliners Ryanair has committed to buy from Boeing could deliver €1m a year in profit according to the airline. A deal between Ryanair and Boeing was confirmed yesterday. The list price of the 200 aircraft, 100 to be delivered in 2019 and an option to buy another 100, is €17 billion. The new planes could see Ryanair almost doubling the number of passengers it can carry from 82 million to 150 million by 2023. Based on each plane flying six times a day, 364 days a year with 80% of the seats full and each passenger spending an average €60 per trip, Michael O'Leary said each Boeing Max 200 will deliver €1m a year "straight to the bottom line".

*** The euro is still trading below $1.29 cents having fallen through that level yesterday for the first time in 14 months. The single currency, though, has strengthened slightly against sterling from just below 80 pence to 80.1 pence this morning. The rise is less to do with euro strength, however, and more a reflection of sterling weakness following recent polling data showing the yes campaign taking the lead ahead of the upcoming Scottish independence referendum.