IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 22 January
Limerick firm raises funds online | UPC may enter mobile market
The Irish Times reports that Goshido, a Limerick software developer, has completed a private fundraising round using only social networking site LinkedIn. According to Executive Chairman Frank Hannigan, the company is selling off 10 slots to investors at EUR25,000 each -- each equivalent to a 2 percent stake in the company. Seven hundred e-mails were sent to potential investors through LinkedIn earlier this month, generating 200 replies by phone, e-mail and Twitter. The company raised EUR162,500 in just eight days.
The paper also says that cable firm UPC is in the early stages of a planned entry into the mobile phone market. Chief Executive Robert Dunn said the move was still at an "explorative stage" and indicated that any launch would be as a mobile virtual network operator and not through the acquisition of an existing network. If it goes ahead, the move would create Ireland's first 'quad play' company, offering television, broadband, fixed-line and mobile phone services.
The same paper says Digicel's success in the Pacific Islands has had a positive ripple effect for Irishman Stephen Breen and his company, FlexPacific. The business operates as a distributor of mobile phone top-up cards for Digicel in Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. FlexPacific employs 58 people and revenues this year will be around USD50 million.
The Irish Examiner reports that Ireland urgently needs to develop east coast wind and wave farms or risk losing renewable energy jobs to its rivals in Britain, according to Matthew Knight of Siemens Energy. Speaking at a Renewable Energy Summit in Dundalk, Knight said most big energy corporations already view the Irish Sea as a single market. "Ireland will have to get in early to maximise the job-creating opportunities in the Irish Sea," he said, adding that Irish waters have the biggest wave heights, greatest tidal flows and strongest winds in Europe.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony Ericsson has posted a narrower fourth-quarter net loss as sales and cost cuts helped grow its gross margin. The mobile phone maker recorded a net loss of EUR167 million for the three months to 31 December, compared with a net loss of EUR187 million a year earlier. Analysts had forecast a net loss of EUR254 million. Gross margin rose to 23 percent from 15 percent. Chief Executive Bert Nordberg said this year "will still be challenging as the full benefit of cost improvements will not impact results until the second half of the year. However, we are confident that our business is on the right track."
The paper also says that chipmaker AMD swung to a healthy profit in the fourth quarter, boosted by a USD1.25 billion payment by rival Intel to settle a lawsuit, as well as by growing demand for PCs. For the quarter ended 26 December, AMD posted earnings of USD1.18 billion, or USD1.52 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of USD1.44 billion, or USD2.36 a share, which included USD911 million in write-downs. Excluding the Intel payment, AMD said its net income would have been USD57 million, or USD0.08 a share.
According to the Financial Times, Google has given its first indication that it will try to stay in China even if forced to close down its local search service on account of its refusal to continue to submit to censorship. "We have lots of other business opportunities in China -- we would like them to be successful," said CEO Eric Schmidt in an interview. He was speaking shortly after Google reported a solid rebound in its core search advertising business in the final quarter of 2009. Google said its revenue growth rate had rebounded to 17 percent in the final months of 2009, after falling below 5 percent at one point earlier in the year. Earnings per share on a pro forma basis jumped to USD6.79 from USD5.10 a year before, while reported net income rose to USD1.97 billion, or USD6.13 a share, from USD382 million, or USD1.21 a share, a year earlier.
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