Cera Ward announced winner of this year’s IAPI Doyenne Award

ceraward

Credit: DMX Dublin

The manager of Google Ireland is the third winner of the annual award which was launched in 2014, to acknowledge and support female leadership in the advertising industry.

The award, along with the Special Recognition Award and the Rising Star Award won by Electric Media Ireland’s Michelle O’Keeffe and Aideen O’Neill of Verve Live Agency respectively, aims to expose these females with leadership potential and recognise their work.

“Cera’s career to date lives to her own mantra- ‘I do something regularly that scares me’” said Colin Gordon, one of the judges and the CEO of Glanbia.

Before joining the Google team, Ms Ward led and built the national sales team at Newstalk over a period of nine years. She is a Marketing Institute of Ireland graduate, prior to this she studied Journalism.

“It’s very important to support, and particularly women, because we are different. I didn’t initially think we were but the further I got up the ranks I realised that we’re just a little bit different.” Ms Ward said upon accepting her award.

“The gender gap and possibly the inequality that we have is down to something more than just long hours and possibly maternity leave. I think there’s a responsibility on us all as role models and leaders in this room in the industry to look at the root causes as to why women are starting to fall out.”

“It’s well proven at the top that a diverse table is a more successful table. The hones is on all of us. We’re not looking for positive discrimination, we’re just looking for a fair playing field”.

Ms O’Neill, the winner of the IAPI Doyenne Rising Star Award has been the Activations Director at Verve for the past six years. “She’s not only a rising star but also a true leader of people with a strong focus on the client and conscience on how to work best with her team” Mr Gordon said of the Event Management and PR graduate.

Michelle O’Keeffe picked up the Special Recognition Award for her commendable entrepreneurial approach.

The awards took place at a breakfast ceremony this morning, on International Women’s Day, at the Shelbourne Hotel.

Emma Duffy & Aisling McCabe

Pharmaceutical company Grinfols announce €85 million Dublin investment

grifols-1-1200xx2500-1406-0-131

Credit: Triangle Business Journal

A Spanish plasma pharmaceuticals group Grifols has announced a further €85 million investment in its Dublin plant which opened last year.

Grifols is bringing forward plans for the construction of a purification plant for the protein albumin. This is to cover the particularly growing market demand for this protein.

This new expansion has the capacity to produce between 130 and 150 million grams/year of albumin, one of the earlier proteins to be discovered in plasma.

“One of our big projects is Alzheimer’s and we have found that albumin maybe has some implication on Alzheimer’s which is a huge opportunity, “Grifol said.

Construction will begin towards the end of this year, with the plant expected to be operation-ready in early 2020. The investment is part of a larger programme which will see the group build four new plants in a $360 million expansion of its bioscience manufacturing capacity.

The company opened its $100 million Grange Castle facility in Ireland last year. The plant focuses on the warehousing of plasma, product labelling, and administrative and commercial activities.

Barcelona-based Grifols is a global players in the business of extracting proteins from blood plasma and using them to develop medicines. It sells into over 100 countries worldwide.

Bioscience, the plasma business, is one of the group’s three divisions but makes up 75 per cent of its revenues. Grifol have three bioscience facilities already, in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Clayton, North Carolina.

The company was founded in the wake of the Spanish Civil War in 1945. It established the industry standard method of extracting plasma proteins from blood.

This investment of Spanish healthcare last year increased the multinational  pharmaceutical giants operating in Clondalkin.  Pfizer and Alexicon Pharmaceuticals are already established in Dublin 22.

Conor Martin

Grafton Group generates record profit amid construction sector growth

credit irish building magazine

Credit: Irish Building Magazine

DIY and construction supplier Grafton Group increased its operating profit by 15 per cent to a record €163.7 million in 2015.

The group which operates in Ireland, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands owns Irish based companies Woodies (hardware/DIY), Chadwick’s builders providers, Heiton Buckley heat merchants and PVC manufacturer MFP amongst others.

Turnover at the company jumped to €2.86bn, an increase of six per cent on the 2014 figure of €2.21bn.

Grafton’s Irish revenue for 2015 was €354m, showing that the DIY and construction sectors have returned to a “growth path.”

Grafton Group CEO Gavin Slark said the “the merchanting business in Ireland reported a significant increase in revenue and operating profit for the second successive year against the backdrop of a strong recovery in the economy.

In Ireland Grafton group’s operating profit increased by 13.2pc to €23.9m (2014: €21.29m).

Grafton group attributed its growth in the Irish market to increased volumes in the residential RMI (renovation, maintenance, Improvement) market.

In their annual report issued today Grafton Group also credited “Infrastructure projects, refurbishment of commercial properties and the agricultural sector were other important markets that showed gains in revenue. A subdued recovery in house building was focused on the construction of single dwellings in provincial locations and on small in-fill housing developments in Dublin.”

The report also forecasted a bright future for the construction/DIY industry saying “the overall outlook in Ireland is favourable as growth in employment and incomes in a low inflation and low interest rate environment should support the ongoing improvement in the economy.”

However as an Irish company which is listed on the London Stock Exchange Grafton Group’s continued success into the future will hinge far more on the result of the upcoming Brexit referendum than continued growth in the Irish economy.

A British exit from the EU could “have downside risks for its British business including volatility in financial markets and weigh on UK consumer confidence and demand.”

Niall Connolly

Paddy Power profit reaches record levels after Betfair merger

paddy power - credit qptech.ie

Credit: qptech.ie

Irish bookmaking giant Paddy Power made a record profit of €180 million in 2015.

Boosted by the announcement of a merger with Betfair, the world’s largest internet betting exchange saw Paddy Power recorded highs in both revenue and profit.

The €180m operating profit was an increase of 10 pc on the 2014 figure of €163.8m. A 24% rise in revenue took PP revenue above €1bn. The company recorded total revenue of €1.094bn.

In total Paddy Power had a turnover of €8.46bn from it wagered stakes indicating a massive surge in popularity of gambling. Turnover rose 23 pc on the 2014 figure of €7.1bn.

CEO of Paddy Power Betfair Breon Corcoran said “We were very pleased to complete the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair, creating one of the world’s largest online betting and gaming companies, these results show that both businesses entered this merger on the back of strong trading momentum” adding that “it is crucial that we don’t disrupt the momentum of the existing businesses. This is particularly relevant as the merger completed at the start of a key trading period that encompasses the Cheltenham Festival, Aintree and the Euro 2016 football championships.”

Massive growth in Paddy Power’s Australian operations saw it account for 44pc (€79.2m) of operating profit making it more profitable than the UK for the first time.

Despite the record levels of revenue and profit customer numbers actually dropped three pc on 2014, there were also 12 pc less new accounts opened in 2015. The 2014 World cup in Brazil was responsible for a massive spike in customers last year.

In true Paddy Power fashion their 2014 accounts were titled “the year Paddy Power saved the Earth.” If they’re to be believed then 2015 could be seen as the year Paddy set himself up for world domination by merging with a betting Goliath to form a €10bn worldwide gambling conglomerate.

The Paddy Power Betfair merger which was announced last month will bring together over 4.2 million online customers and over 600 shops across the UK and Ireland. The merger makes Paddy power Betfair the second largest bookmakers in 2015 in terms of online revenue behind the Bet 365 group.

Paddy Power has blossomed since the introduction of online and mobile gambling with over €5.8bn being staked online throughout 2015. Mobile betting accounted for 68pc (€3.94bn) of online stakes with over 80pc of customers availing of Paddy Power’s mobile apps.

These record figures for Paddy Power Betfair just go to show that the old adage “the bookie always wins in the long run” is more true than ever.

Niall Connolly