Our team has summarised the key developments for NI businesses in the news this week.
The Cookstown-based cement production business acquired in January by LCC Group and David Millar for £56 million has been rebranded to Cemcor following significant investment from its new ownership. ( Source - The Irish News)
SPAR Mallusk has reopened following a major investment which has seen the addition of the first-ever Barista Bar coffee drive-thru in the north - The total renovation and extension of the store is complete after a six-month build, has created 28 jobs and is now a space where those who live and work in the area can pick up everything for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the go. (Source - The Irish News)
Dickson & Co (NI) Ltd has acquired the family-owned Jim Burton Insurance Services, increasing its network of offices in Northern Ireland to eight. (Source - Insider Media)
East Belfast business management solutions and technology provider, Pinnacle has acquired Belfast-based Flint Studios as part of its ambitious growth strategy. (Source - News Letter)
The Bank of England raised interest rates again on Thursday (to 3%) and has warned of the following:
- The UK is facing its longest recession on record, with the Bank of England warning the country faces a "very challenging" two-year slump.
- The unemployment rate in the UK is set to rise significantly over the next two years to 6.4%, the Bank predicts.
- Annual payments could soar by £3,000 in some cases, according to the Bank.
- Inflation hit 10.1% in September, is expected to peak at 11% this winter, before falling next year.
- With inflation expected to fall next year, the Bank does not expect interest rates to rise by as much as predicted. (Source - BBC News)
Activity in Northern Ireland’s construction sector is now at its weakest since the first pandemic lockdown, according to a new report - The latest RICS and Tughans Construction and Infrastructure Monitor found workloads fell in Q3 at the sharpest rate in nine quarters, according to respondents, and they expect them to come under further pressure in the next 12 months. A net balance of -29 per cent of respondents was recorded for workloads in Q3 2022, the lowest figure seen since Q2 2020, in contrast to the UK picture as a whole where workloads continued to record strong growth, with 17 per cent of respondents seeing workloads rise. (Source -Insider Media)
Last month saw a slender but nonetheless welcome improvement in shopper footfall in Northern Ireland to usher in the critical ‘golden quarter' of festive trading (Source - The Irish News)
EY Ireland reports record revenues and plans to add 900 new staff - Business advisers EY has reported record levels of growth for its business on the island of Ireland. It said revenues to the end of June up 26 per cent to €536 million (£461 million), while globally it reported full-year revenues of $45.4 billion (£39.4bn). EY reported strong performance across all four service lines (assurance, consulting, tax and law, and strategy and transactions) in its offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, where its Ireland headcount rose by 23 per cent over the year to 4,208. And it came as EY announced another 900 new jobs on the island of Ireland in the coming year (550 experienced hires which it will be actively recruiting immediately, and 350 roles for new university graduates). (Source - The Irish News)
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