Our team has summarised the key developments for NI businesses in the news this week.
Omagh-based car retailer TC Autos has launched a £2.5 million plan to redevelop part of its car dealership into a supermarket and fuel forecourt - The family-owned business, started in 1971 by Claude Maguire, has confirmed it will continue to operate in the motor trade. But, subject to planning approval, a significant part of its Killyclogher Road site will be transformed into a new retail hub within the next two years. TC Autos said the proposal has the potential to create around 60 jobs. The £2.5m investment involves the development of a convenience store, road services area, electric vehicle charging park and fuel forecourt. (Source: Irish News)
Two of the north’s most prominent transport and logistics firms have reported record profits for 2022 - New accounts for McCulla show it recorded a 35.5% uplift in turnover to £44.3m last year, helping the Lisburn-based cold-storage haulier post a 62% increase in profit before tax of £5.1m. Last year was even stronger for the McBurney Group, with turnover increasing 25% year-on-year to £144m, with profit before tax surging 65% to just under £19m. (Source: Irish News)
Poultry giant Moy Park has blamed high cost inflation for diminishing profits in 2022, despite raking in an extra £305 million in revenue last year- The Craigavon-based food group generated £1.83 billion in the year to December 31 2022. But Moy Park said “a year of unprecedented cost increases in feed, utilities and labour” saw its costs rise across the board. It left Northern Ireland’s biggest private sector business with a pre-tax profit of £25.6m in 2022, down by £7 million (21.6%) from 2021, and representing less than one-third of what it made two years ago. (Source: Irish News)
The north’s biggest private hospital owner Kingsbridge Healthcare Group is seeking an investment injection and could be sold as a going concern - A team of healthcare advisers from PwC in London has been appointed in a bid to attract new equity into the company, which was established in 2006 as 352 Healthcare. And any transaction - which should attract considerable interest - is likely to be valued at around £300 million. (Source : Belfast Telegraph)
Scores of jobs could potentially be axed at IT giant Allstate NI as it begins a major restructuring of its operations - The company, part of Illinois-headquartered insurer Allstate Corporation, has 2,200 staff in Northern Ireland, based in both Belfast and Derry. It had warned in July that it was planning redundancies across all its global divisions, including the US, India and Northern Ireland, but refused to disclose the exact number being lost. But now affected staff are being summoned to one-to-one meetings with managers and HR representatives in Belfast in the coming days. Some have already been put on their notice. (Source: Irish News)
Renewable energy company Ørsted has announced the opening of a new wind farm in Northern Ireland as part of an agreement with ecommerce giant Amazon - The 16MW Amazon Wind Farm Northern Ireland Ballykeel will generate renewable energy from seven turbines, bringing Ørsted’s total operational capacity to 378MW across the island of Ireland. Amazon Wind Farm Northern Ireland Ballykeel in Co Antrim is the first renewable energy project enabled by a corporate power purchase agreement to become operational in Northern Ireland. (Source: Belfast Telegraph)
Dunnes Stores’ northern operation remained profitable in 2022, but higher costs ate into the Irish grocer’s profits, new accounts show. (Source: Irish News)
Portadown based potato packer and processor Wilson’s Country has invested £2 million in the development of an anaerobic development (AD) system. (Source: Farming Life)
Output in the north’s private sector remained in a state of downturn throughout the third quarter of 2023, Ulster Bank’s monthly business survey suggests - Published on Monday, the lender's latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) said output and new orders fell again during September, with private sector output falling for the third month running. Based on the experiences of 200 businesses across the north’s construction, manufacturing, retail and services sectors, the survey is considered a reliable bellwether for the state of the north’s economy. September's PMI showed all four sectors in decline, which construction the worst performer. (Source: Irish News)
House sales pick up in September but buyer enquiries flat - House prices in Northern Ireland continued to rise through the month of September, according to a new report. Sales activity was also reported to have picked up, but the number of potential buyers active in the market was broadly flat. The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey found a net balance of 19 per cent of NI-based respondents noted an increase in house prices in the September survey, up from 9 per cent in August, which was the lowest the figure has been, outside of Coronavirus restrictions, since 2013. (Source: Insider Media)
Rent prices have soared by 15% in some parts of the north, new analysis by PropertyPal suggests. (Source: Irish News)
Workplace & Employment
Over six in 10 Northern Ireland accountants are now ‘chartered’ as membership climbs towards 33,000 (Source: Newsletter)
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