‘Significant’ new wave of food inflation expected amid strengthening US dollar

Seen & Heard: Wind farm finance; Lansdowne Place legal claims; Dublin Airport’s north runway; Louis Fitzgerald restaurant plans; AerCap’s insurance battle; KBC staff transfer

Another wave of inflation in food prices is on track to hit consumers over the coming months, a grocery market expert has warned, in the wake of figures from consultancy firm Kantar showing a more than 13 per cent increase in average food prices over the past year.

The Business Post quotes Malachy O’Connor, a partner at European grocery industry consulting firm IPLC, who is forecasting that consumer food businesses will pass on recent rises in their input costs as a result of the strengthening dollar.

“I think we’re going to start seeing the shift in currency being passed on to retailers over the coming months. It won’t impact the price of all food products in the same way energy inflation has, but it will be significant.”

Wind farm plans under threat

Plans to build a series of wind farms around the Irish coast to help the State meet its climate targets could be under threat because the backers believe issues with a key part of the new planning system could lead to difficulties securing finance and insurance, reports the Sunday Independent.


The industry is concerned that draft Maritime Area Consents – which developers of offshore wind farms must have before making a planning permission application – are currently “unbankable and uninsurable”.

Too hot in here, say Lansdowne Place residents

Developer Joe O’Reilly is facing lawsuits from apartment owners at Lansdowne Place, the high-end residential scheme in Ballsbridge, Dublin, according to the Sunday Times.

The apartments, which were developed by O’Reilly’s company Chartered Land, are claimed by the owners to be uninhabitable due to high internal temperatures.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for breach of contract and want the defendants to undertake remedial work that would render the properties “habitable”.

Runway constraints

Dublin Airport has seen just a 7.4 per cent increase in slot capacity despite the opening of its €320 million north runway, according to its slots co-ordination report for the 2023 summer season, as reported in the Sunday Independent.

There was demand for more than 171,000 slots. Of the more than 12,000 slots the co-ordinator could not allocate, 94.8 per cent of these were due to runway constraints at particular times of the day. The remainder could not be allocated due to arrival and departure turnaround constraints.

Restaurant plan for KBC Bank branch

A company linked with veteran pub and hotel investor Louis Fitzgerald has applied for planning permission to turn the KBC Bank branch on Baggot Street, Dublin – the site of what was once the Baggot Inn – into a licensed restaurant.

Riady Trading Limited, which counts Mr Fitzgerald and his family as directors, has applied to Dublin City Council seeking permission for a change of use from the existing bank to a restaurant, the Sunday Independent reports.

The documents do not state what the name of the new venue will be.

Aircraft re-registered in Russia

Almost 90 per cent of the aircraft subject to a multibillion euro lawsuit between AerCap and a group of insurers have been re-registered in Russia, the Business Post reports, citing legal documents filed by the lessor.

The Dublin-based aviation leasing companies is suing its insurers over the loss of 116 planes and 23 spare aircraft engines.

The assets were stranded in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine and the wave of sanctions that followed, but the insurers say the seizure of the aircraft does not constitute a loss for insurance purposes.

KBC staff shun Bank of Ireland

Staff at KBC have so far shown little interest in an offer of an equivalent position in Bank of Ireland. Bank of Ireland will take control of KBC’s mortgage book in February and a performing loan portfolio later in 2023.

The Financial Services Union had expected about 600 of its 1,400 staff to take up an option to transfer to Bank of Ireland as part of the arrangement, according to the Sunday Times, but only a fraction of that have so far indicated their intention to do so.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics