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Weekly Round Up, April 8 2014

Published on Apr 7 2014 3:00 PM

Weekly Round Up, April 8 2014

Cork’s largest shopping centre, Mahon Point, has been certified by BREEAM, a worldwide environmental assessment method and ratings system for building, making it Ireland’s first shopping centre to achieve the certification. The 35,000 square metre complex was honoured for its performance in waste management, its ‘health and wellbeing’ for staff and customers, transport links and amenities and its energy and water consumption. Store management said “ BREEAM provided Mahon Point with the framework to evaluate the true sustainable credentials of the shopping centre. It also enabled us to benchmark against our retail industry peers using the most widely-used environmental assessment method.”

Bread brand Irish Pride is reportedly set to be sold to the Lloyd family, operators of the Diacom telephony group. According to The Sunday Times, Irish Pride, which is part of the One51 investment group, is to be sold for around €6 million, plus a performance-related element of up to €2 million. According to One51's most recent AGM, last October, the Irish Pride business "remains profitable and cash flow generative," however the wider market environment remains "challenging […] due to depressed consumer spending and intense competition." It first put Irish Pride up for sale in 2012, with a price tag believed to be around €15 million.

Property advisors CBRE have said that high street store vacancy has remained high in some of Ireland’s main retail locations despite reports of improving occupier and consumer activity over the last six months. Out of nine major retail locations, five still have ground floor vacancy levels in the double digits with demand for regional high street locations particularly low in areas with shopping centres. According to Suzanne Barrett, associate director at CBRE Ireland, “Although there have been signs of improvement emerging in the Irish retail sector over the last six month period, much of this recovery is being experienced in the Dublin market or in key shopping centre and retail schemes. The improvement is not yet filtering down to provincial high streets."

C&C Group has appointed Emer Finnan as an independent non-executive director. Finnan, who is a partner and senior managing director of private equity real estate firm, Kildare Partners, will take the position on May 1. Sir Brian Stewart, chairman of C&C said “Emer Finnan will bring valuable expertise to C&C and we are pleased to announce her appointment to the Board.” Finnan has over 20 years of investment banking and financial services experience in both the UK and Ireland and is currently a non-executive director of Dublin Port Company and advisor to the audit committee of RTE.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney TD is to address an Irish Whiskey Association event this Wednesday at the Marker Hotel. Alongside Peter Morehead, production director at Irish Distillers and chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association, the Minister will hold a briefing session on the future of the Irish whiskey and its significance for the economy. There are currently only four whiskey distilleries in Ireland but 15 new distillery projects are being developed.

The Irish economy has shown positive signs of growth in the opening three months of 2014, according to the latest Insolvency Journal from Solocheck.ie. From January 1 to March 25, 10,741 company and business start-ups were recorded in Ireland, an increase of 6% from the same period in 2013 (10,164). 3,989 of the start-ups were companies, the third highest figure recorded in the last ten years and an increase of 8% from last year. Professional services accounted for 25% of new companies. However, insolvencies continue to fall. 302 insolvencies were recorded during the period, a fall of 23 % from 2013 (395).

Millfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan, Dublin has been put into receivership by NAMA just three years after it opened. Operation of the 17,000 square metre shopping centre has been taken over by chartered accountants, BDO. Millfield opened just as the recession hit but managed to secure a major tenant in Tesco, which has its second largest Irish store in the centre. 20 out of 30 shop units are currently let out to tenants including Boots, McDonald’s and Carphone Warehouse at the centre.

WEEE Ireland has welcomed new legislation that looks to increase the amount of e-waste recycled in Ireland annually. At the end of last month, Environment Minister Phil Hogan TD, signed a law that will significantly increase the amount of electrical waste collected by WEEE. From 2016, Ireland will need to recycle 45% of the comparative weight it purchases of electrical goods, which will increase to 65% from 2019. Currently WEEE recycles 8kg per capita in Ireland, double the EU target of 4kg. Leo Donovan WEEE Ireland CEO said, “The application of increased targets for recovery of WEEE as well as a new programme for reuse of electrical appliances will require a renewed focus for the WEEE Ireland Scheme in 2014.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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