Opening Bell: SuperValu locked in price row with Unilever, Revenue corrects Tim Cook, Irish spending more than they earn

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SuperValu, Ireland's leading supermarket chain, remains locked in a price dispute with Unilever that could threaten supplies this morning.

Managing director Martin Kelleher told Breakfast Business that SuperValu is "anxious to resolve this" while stressing that it is the retailer's job "to give the best value to our customers".

Unilever – the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant that makes everything from Knorr soups to Lyons Tea – has been looking to increase its prices by as much as 19% to deal with a weakened sterling.

Kelleher admitted that SuperValu does not have the negotiating power of Tesco, who has now resolved the issue with Unilever, but was "confident that we'll keep our shelves filled", noting that there were alternatives available to the 800 lines involved.

Unilever announced last night that it was "pleased to confirm that the supply situation with Tesco in the UK and Ireland has now been successfully resolved". Tesco Ireland also confirmed its satisfaction with the agreement reached. It is not yet known if this will lead to a price hike for shoppers.


The chairman of the Revenue Commissioners says Apple's CEO was "wrong" to claim the company had a special tax rate with Ireland.

Niall Cody says Tim Cook's comments before a US senate hearing were "not correct". Cook told a panel of senators in Washington three years ago that the rate had been negotiated.

Cody has claimed today that that's simply not the case:

"I can see how it can be presented, because they're looking at it in the context of a global rate. But we were only engaged in the attribution of profits to the Irish branches. That's what we were dealing with."


One in five Irish households is spending more than they earn, according to a new report from the Central Bank.

Its survey also found that nearly a third leave bills unpaid to cope with negative savings. Some 46% of households are balancing their books, while a third are spending less than they have.

By comparison, a mere 11% of Eurozone households said they were in negative savings.

The Central Bank's report also warned that some Irish workers will find it difficult to cope with any volatility in income in the future due to their indebtedness.

Roughly 60% of households are saving as a precaution so that they can cope with unexpected events in the future.


The Central Bank has hit outsourcing giant Capita with a €1.15 million fine for conducting Irish business without the proper authorisation, the Irish Independent reports.

The British-headquartered firm – whose big clients here include NAMA – have admitted to the breaches with a settlement being agreed.

Derville Rowland, Central Bank director of enforcement, said:

"The firm's failure to obtain the required authorisations evidenced an unacceptable lack of proper compliance oversight."

It was the second fine issued by the Central Bank this week, after it ordered KBC Bank Ireland to pay €1.4m for breaches of the Code of Practice on Lending to Related Parties.

These parties could include directors, senior managers, major shareholders and spouses or domestic partners.