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Business Briefs Philadelphia ICCUSA to host top North firm

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

The Mid Atlantic Chapter of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the USA has announced that it will host Dr. John King, executive chairman of Galen Holdings PLC, at a networking lunch on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad St.

King will discuss Galen’s operations in Ireland and the US. Galen is an integrated specialty pharmaceutical company based in Craigavon and in Rockaway, N.J.

Its Clinical Trial Services Division is in Audubon, Pa.

The company was founded in 1968, listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997 and on NASDAQ in September 2000. Galen develops, acquires and manufactures branded prescription pharmaceutical products, which are promoted by the company’s sales and marketing organizations in the UK, Ireland, and the U.S.

For details, call Rory Wilson at (215) 574-3100 or email to info@iccusa.org.

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Even more people needed

The shortage of qualified employees in Ireland is becoming a familiar complaint. Irish companies had trouble filling positions in management last year, and sometimes vacancies existed for more than two months, said recruiters Merc Partners.

Three-quarters of all Irish companies reported some kind of vacancy in IT management and sales and marketing, during the year. Most of the vacancies were for short-term positions, but this year will be no better, said Merc. There simply aren’t enough bodies for the jobs available.

Shopping online down

Internet shopping was down in Ireland over Christmas, but usage was still healthy, reports Stockex. Most users headed for shopping, mobile phone and greetings card sites.

"It seems that women are moving their annual Christmas card task on-line," said Karen Kelly, CANielsen eRatings.com director of sales and marketing. At Bluemountain.com, a greetings card site, 65 percent of visitors were female.

At the cell phone site Dialaring.com, more than 63 percent of users were between the ages of 12 and 20, showing how much the internet is dominating the shopping habits of the youngest consumers in the country. But the statistics from Nielsen/Netratings show that overall internet usage was down to 485,000 for December from 513,000 in November.

Elan expands

Setting out an ambitious plan to make Elan one of the world’s largest drug companies, CEO Donal Geaney said he wanted the company to double its sales to $5 billion by 2005. This year, Elan sales are expected to be roughly $2 billion. He is confident that new drugs and further acquisitions will bring turnover up to the projected $5 billion. Elan has a market value of $13.6 billion and is Ireland’s largest plc.

Soup Kitchen?

Campbell Soup Company is collecting brand names this week. "Oxo" in the UK and Ireland, "McDonnells" in Ireland, "Heisse Tasse" in Germany, "Royco" in France, are all instant soup and sauce brands that Unilever is selling on to Campbell’s.

Staying with food, Heinz is expected to announce the purchase of the pickles business side of debt-ridden food company Vlasic, which may also file for bankruptcy. Heinz will pay about $200 million for the pickles and for Open Pit barbecue sauce. Vlasic pickles has a 34 percent share of the U.S. market, so the deal is no small gherkin.

Eircom’s happy this week

Eircom, the telecommunications group, has become the sole site sponsors of the new portal and search engine, Alta Vista Ireland, said to be the most comprehensive search tool for Irish-specific topics on the web. Immediately, Eircom’s shares rose 4 pennies on the market to $2.60.

Carded

Perhaps because everyone’s using online greetings cards, the unfortunate Irish card company Saints and Scholars has declared bankruptcy with debts of £200,000 (c. $250,000). When the High Court wound up the company last July, it owed £112,000 in unpaid tax and £45,000 to Ulster Bank. After liabilities were counted, the company had a deficit of £135,000.

Junk mail

How do they work out figures like this? An estimated $12 billion a year in Internet connection costs are being paid by surfers just to receive junk e-mails. The Figures come courtesy of a European Commission survey on e-commerce.

Watching over you . . .

Even online, sometimes you need a guardian angel. If no one visits your web site, what’s the point? Watchedover.com offers everything you need to know to increase the visibility of your web site — search engine registration, meta-tag work, and content audits, as well as use of banner ads for more commercially minded ventures.

More paperlessness

Private investors on the Irish stock exchange can now take advantage of an electronic portfolio called CREST, developed by a UK company called CrestCo. Instead of holding securities as physical paper certificates, shares will be held in electronic accounts on the new CREST system. The development is expected to enhance and increase online trading.

Inflation latest

Inflation in the UK falls again, and by the end of 2001 is expected to be as low as 1.5 percent, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Meanwhile, inflation is Ireland is expected to remain high, in the region of 6.5 percent or more, through to 2002.

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