Period of stability key to region’s recovery

first_imgNewsLocal NewsPeriod of stability key to region’s recoveryBy admin – November 25, 2010 487 Twitter Linkedin LIMERICK people are afraid to part with their money ahead of Budget 2011 as they don’t know how much will be left in their pockets, but with a general election on the horizon, hopes have been expressed by the local business community that such an eventuality could spark increased growth and stability in the region. Maria Kelly, CEO Limerick Chamber, insists it is “most important that the Government gets its budget and four-year plan through to meet the conditions of the IMF and the EU”.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Her comments came after Taoiseach, Brian Cowen declared on Monday he will call a general election early in the new year, “as soon as the budget process has been seen through”. Noting that the within the next two years, a declining Limerick city centre and indeed, the economic picture as a whole, could see a return to growth, Ms Kelly told the Limerick Post that the reaction to the IMF has been somewhat peculiar.“We have been in free-fall for some time and we have never hit the bottom, but maybe now we have hit the bottom, and I hope that the political parties recognise the importance of seeing this process through and then let the people have their say in the new year”.However, Ms Kelly, adopting a positive stance, revealed she had spoken to many business owners who had acknowledged a substantial increase in their turnover, and she expressed confidence that 2011 could see a return for the majority of those that suffered at the front-line of the economy.This sentiment is echoed by Graham Byrnes, regional director at CPL, who says that he would welcome the announcement of the general election as he feels that Limerick is in need of representation at the Cabinet table. “We need stability here, and potential investors crave certainty if multinationals are to set up in the region, while allowing exporters to avail of opportunity.“Companies are hiring and we have seen an increase in demand to fill jobs, but this needs to grow once the size of this financial bail out is identified. Ireland and indeed, Limerick, has seen an increase in competitiveness as salaries and costs have fallen.“Now is the time for direct foreign investment to pick up an educated workforce. It is two years now since the Dell closure and with the support of grants and training stimulus packages, Limerick is getting back on its feet”.Commentators and the business community are embracing the announcement of a general election on the whole, citing a period of stability as the key to recovery. Facebook Advertisementcenter_img Print WhatsApp Email Previous articleCar reg gives sneak offender awayNext articleCouncil denounces ‘scurrilous’ local newspaper report adminlast_img read more

OIT provides Google + access to ND students

first_imgNotre Dame students can now “Hangout” online with their social “Circles” through Google+ accounts open to anyone with a University Gmail account. The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) informed students last week that an advance release field trial of Google+ would be available through the University. Mike Chapple, senior director for OIT Enterprise Support Services, said students previously needed to be invited by a friend to join Google+. “Previously, you had to have an invitation for Google + to work, but now you can just sign up with your ND account,” Chapple said. “It’s the same service that’s been available to regular Gmail users since July, now available to ND users.” Chapple said one of the benefits of Notre Dame’s access to Google+ is that students no longer need to log out of their Notre Dame email accounts to access the social network. Sophomore Nicole Gantz said she is happy to have streamlined her email and Google+ accounts. “It’s nice to have the full functionality of Google all in one area,” Gantz said. “I’m excited by this new integration of Google’s services all under my ND account.” The email advertising Google+ accounts said the social networking site could be useful to the student body for a number of reasons. “There are many possibilities for using Google+,” the email said. “Below are just a few ideas to get you started: share your thoughts with a project group, friends or family circle; have a Hangout with up to nine classmates; keep up with your connections from your mobile device.” Despite the benefits promoted by OIT, sophomore Sean Doherty said he does not see the value of Google+. Doherty created an account, but does not plan to use it. “I created an account when it first came out, but since then I haven’t looked at it in a while because it didn’t offer me anything that Facebook didn’t,” Doherty said. Doherty said he does not know many other students that use Google+. “All of my friends are on Facebook, so I don’t see a point in going to another website that’s pretty much the same,” he said. “I don’t think Google+ really offers anything that Facebook doesn’t.”last_img read more

Green Mountain Coffee Reports Third Quarter Results Up 43 Percent

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2008 Third Quarter Results- Success of Keurig single-cup brewing system and K-Cups drives strong sales and earnings growth – WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (NASDAQ: GMCR) has announced its fiscal 2008 third quarter results for the thirteen weeks ended June 28, 2008.Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 were up 43.3% to $118.1 million as compared to $82.4 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. During the third quarter of fiscal 2008, approximately 153,000 Keurig brewers were shipped, up 61% from the 95,000 Keurig brewers shipped during the third quarter of fiscal 2007. The Green Mountain Coffee segment shipped over 134 million K-Cup portion packs, which was 49% more than the year-ago quarter.Net income for the fiscal third quarter of 2008 was $6.3 million or $0.25 per diluted share, up 72% from $3.7 million or $0.15 per diluted share in the fiscal third quarter of 2007.Excluding the impact of the non-cash amortization expense related to the Keurig intangibles of approximately $1.2 million (pre-tax) in each of the third quarters of fiscal 2008 and 2007, non-GAAP net income totaled $7.1 million in the third fiscal quarter of 2008 compared to non-GAAP net income of $4.4 million for the comparable year-ago period.Net sales for the thirty-nine weeks ended June 28, 2008 were up 47% to $365.4 million as compared to $248.6 million reported in the comparable year-ago period. Net income for the first three quarters of fiscal 2008 was $15.2 million or $0.60 per diluted share, up 64% from $9.3 million or $0.38 per diluted share in the first nine months of fiscal 2007.Lawrence J. Blanford, President and CEO, said, “I am proud of our continued, strong financial performance, particularly in today’s business environment. Our two business segments – Green Mountain Coffee and Keurig – have done an exceptional job in both servicing customers and actively managing expenses to bring profits to the bottom line. At the same time, we have maintained our commitment to being socially and environmentally responsible in our business practices and initiatives.The enthusiastic endorsement of our customers – for the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system and for our coffee – lends even further credence to our belief that we will continue to deliver strong multi-channel sales and profit growth for long-term sustainability and shareholder value.”Fiscal 2008 Third Quarter Financial ReviewNet Sales* Net sales for the Green Mountain Coffee segment for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 were up 27% to $76.7 million, prior to the elimination of inter-company sales, as compared to $60.3 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Dollar sales growth was strongest in the channels that benefit from sales of the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing system including office coffee service (OCS), reseller, and consumer direct channels. Coffee, tea and hot cocoa pounds shipped by channel are shown in the table accompanying this press release.* Net sales for the Keurig segment (prior to the elimination of inter-company sales) included in the Company’s third quarter of fiscal 2008 were $54.4 million, up 79% from net sales of $30.4 million in the third fiscal quarter of 2007. This increase in sales was primarily due to higher K-Cup and brewer sales and royalty income from the sales of K-Cups. Further detail on shipments of Keurig brewers and K-Cups is provided in the chart accompanying this press release.* As part of the consolidation, $8.6 million of inter-company Keurig segment sales and $4.4 million of inter-company Green Mountain Coffee segment sales were eliminated in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.Costs, Margins and Income* Consolidated cost of sales increased to 64.0% of total net sales compared to 58.6% for the corresponding quarter last year. The increase over last year primarily is due to the significant increase in sales of Keurig At Home Single-Cup Brewers as a percentage of total net sales (which have lower gross margins than the Company’s other products). In addition, higher green coffee and other commodity costs, and higher manufacturing costs due to the continued capacity investment in our new Essex, Vermont packaging facility contributed to the increase in cost of sales as compared to the year ago third quarter.* Selling, general and administrative (S,G&A) expenses improved as a percentage of net sales to 26.4% from 32.5% in the prior year quarter. This improvement was the result of leveraging selling and organizational resources on a higher sales base. It was achieved even though the Company incurred approximately $800,000 in litigation expenses related to the patent infringement suit filed against Kraft.* Pre-tax non-cash stock compensation was $1,620,000 in the third fiscal quarter of 2008, up from $1,189,000 in the prior year period. The increase is primarily due to new grants issued in fiscal 2007.* The Company’s operating income was $11.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2008, as compared to $7.4 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007, and improved as a percentage of net sales to 9.6% from 8.9%.* Interest expense declined by $75,000 this past quarter to $1.4 million from $1.5 million in the prior year third quarter due primarily to lower interest rates.* Income before taxes for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 66.4 % to $9.9 million as compared to $6.0 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.* The Company’s tax rate was 36.3% as compared to 38.2% in the prior year quarter. The difference was primarily due to foreign tax credits associated with royalties earned on K-Cup portion packs from the Canadian licensed roasters for fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2007.* Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $6.3 million or 5.4% of net sales as compared to $3.7 million or 4.5% of net sales in the corresponding quarter last year.Business Outlook and Other Forward-Looking InformationCompany Estimates for Fiscal Year 2008:* Total consolidated net sales growth of 44% to 46% primarily due to anticipated strong sales of Keurig Single-Cup Brewers and K-Cups in the office coffee channel, consumer direct, reseller and supermarket channels.* An operating margin in the range of 7.9% to 8.2%, including $4.8 million or $0.11 per diluted share for non-cash amortization expenses related to the identifiable intangibles.* Interest expense of $6.0 million to $6.5 million.* A tax rate of 39.2% as compared to 40.5% in fiscal 2007.* Fully diluted GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.79 to $0.81 per share including the non-cash amortization expenses related to the identifiable intangibles mentioned above of $0.11 per diluted share. Excluding the impact of these non-cash amortization expenses, non-GAAP EPS in the range of $0.90 to $0.92 per share.Company Estimates Relating to Balance Sheet and Cash Flow:* Capital expenditures for fiscal 2008 in the range of $46 to $50 million, up from the previously reported estimates of $37 to $41 million due to the expected $10.5 million purchase of the Knoxville, Tennessee building and land.* Depreciation and amortization expenses in the range of $18.8 to $19.2 million including $4.8 million for amortization of identifiable intangibles.Company Estimates for Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2008:* Total consolidated net sales growth of 37% to 41%.* An operating margin in the range of 7.9% to 8.3% including non-cash amortization expenses for identifiable intangibles of approximately $1.2 million or $0.03 per share.* Fully diluted GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.19 to $0.21 per share, including the non-cash amortization expenses related to the identifiable intangibles that are estimated to reduce EPS by approximately $0.03 per share.Company Estimates for Fiscal Year 2009:* Total consolidated net sales growth of 40% to 45%.* Fully diluted GAAP earnings per share in the range of $1.20 to $1.30 per share, including the non-cash amortization expenses related to the identifiable intangibles mentioned above of $4.8 million or approximately $0.10 per share. Non-GAAP EPS in the range of $1.30 to $1.40 per share.Use of Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to reporting financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the Company provides non-GAAP operating results that exclude certain charges or credits and information regarding non-cash related items such as amortization of identifiable intangibles related to the Keurig acquisition completed on June 15, 2006. These amounts are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP. The Company’s management believes that these measures provide investors with greater transparency by helping illustrate the underlying financial and business trends relating to the Company’s results of operations and financial condition and comparability between current and prior periods. Management uses the measures to establish and monitor budgets and operational goals and to evaluate the performance of the Company.Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. will be discussing these financial results and future prospects with analysts and investors in a conference call available via the internet. The call will take place today at 8:30 AM ET and will be available, with accompanying slides, via live webcast on the Company’s website at www.GreenMountainCoffee.com(link is external) and other major portals. The Company archives the latest conference call on the Investor Services section of its website for a period of time. A replay of the conference call also will be available by telephone at 719-457-0820, confirmation code 8432200 from 11:30 AM ET on July 31st through 11:30 AM ET on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008.last_img read more