Business Round-Up: New government urged to play fair with business and increase fiscal leeway - The Post

Business Round-Up: New government urged to play fair with business and increase fiscal leeway

In related news, a ceiling on executive bonuses looks increasingly likely

Downturn always inevitable (photo Max Pixel)
June 7th, 2019 4:34 pm| by Ben Hamilton

A new analysis by Dansk Industri warns the new government it must save funds to ensure Denmark isn’t crippled by the next recession, which will inevitably arrive “sooner or later”.

While reforms and growth initiatives introduced after the 2008 Financial Crisis have helped the country’s economy, it does not currently have the necessary funds needed to stimulate the economy in the event of a recession.

Action needed now
“I urge politicians to consider how to increase fiscal leeway now,” said DI chief executive Kent Damsgaard.

“The room for manoeuvre in the case of a new crisis or even just a regular recession is extremely narrow. This is regrettable in a situation in which we’ve had economic tailwind for the past many years.”

Relying on a lowering of interest rates will not be enough, adds Damsgaard, as they are “rock bottom six years into a European upswing”.

Employer associations concerned
A number of employer associations are concerned about what a change of government will mean for their members’ futures.

Red bloc governments tend to be pro public sector, often heavily taxing the private sector to fund its spending. Already Socialdemokratiet has indicated it will be spending more on welfare.

Both Tekniq Arbejdsgiverne (TA) and Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening noted that the issue of company growth was completely overlooked in the build-up to the election.

Business ends up paying
“It is the business community that must finance the many election promises,” TA chief executive Niels Jørgen Hansen told DR.

“The business community must have the opportunity to have the necessary manpower so that we can deliver the growth and prosperity that is the prerequisite for being able to afford to finance the welfare promises.”

Over a thousand homeowners face huge tax bill
Some 1,200 homeowners have been ordered to pay massive bills, amounting to a total of 100 million kroner, due to an IT error that left them exempt from paying property value tax for a decade. An additional 950 properties may have also avoided paying a housing tax payable to the municipality. MPs are locked in talks over whether a discount should be given to the homeowners – something in the region of 70 percent has been suggested. DR spoke to one individual, a homeowner since 2012, who repeatedly contacted SKAT for help, but was told on every occasion there was nothing they could do.

Keeping up with the Chinese: Time is ticking, warn experts
Danish high-tech manufacturers need to take heed of ‘Made in China 2025’, warn experts. The initiative is being hailed as a new industrial revolution, reports DI Business, and companies operating in sectors such as robotics, green energy and medical equipment risk being left behind by China if they don’t make inroads in the country soon. Peter Bøgh Hansen, the head of Dansk Industri’s project department in Shanghai, warns it will be more difficult for Danish companies to export to and be present in China, while overseas Chinese companies will be able to undercut them by around 30 percent.

Executives to earn hundreds of millions from Nets bonus scheme 
There’s been plenty of outrage concerning a bonus share scheme at NemID operator Nets that will enable many of its top executives to make hundreds of millions. The company’s chief executive, Bo Nilsson, could potentially earn 1.9 billion kroner out of the scheme – a return on investing 200 million kroner. In 2016, an investment of 30 million kroner in Nets shares earned him 600 million kroner two years later. Socialdemokratiet chair Henrik Sass Larsen wants to place a ceiling on such bonus schemes. Venstre had previously warned against it.

Juice bar chain pays the price for rapid expansion
Joe & The Juice has revealed a satisfactory 2018 loss of 113 million – a huge jump from 2017 in which it only lost 27.3 million. Recent rapid expansion, which saw the juice bar and cafe chain open 62 new outlets worldwide last year to take its total number to 272 (with another 17 franchised out), has seen total revenue jump by around 25 percent to 1.02 billion kroner. In 2019, Joe & The Juice expects to open between 30 and 40 new outlets.

Tiger posts first loss since 2006
Flying Tiger Copenhagen has confirmed a 2018 loss of 541 million kroner – its first loss since 2006. The retailer, which has 990 stores in 30 countries, partly blamed accounting technology, a write-down of the value of its inventories, and costs incurred by store closures. Its total revenue climbed 11 percent to 5.6 billion kroner.

Four employees dismissed over fancy meals and expensive gifts
The engineering firm Kemp & Lauritzen has fired four employees for misusing  company funds. The employees treated themselves to seven luxury meals at fancy restaurants, along with expensive phones and tablets, and overall they are accused of spending 270,000 kroner on perks unauthorised by the company. A fifth employee, who was also suspended in May pending an investigation, has been reinstated. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has suspended an employee who accompanied the fired Kemp & Lauritzen workers to some of the meals under investigation.

Carlsberg to unveil another of its green initiatives at Copenhagen Airport
Following the success of its glued six-packs, which has dramatically cut down its use of plastic, Carlsberg has unveiled another green initiative: tables made out recycled beer kegs. A deposit on the kegs encourages customers to return them, and the first tables will be unveiled in the new Aviator lounge at Copenhagen Airport on June 11, reports DI Business. Meanwhile, the response to its glued six-packs has been impressive, with sales of the six-packs rising 19 percent on last year. The brewer has set itself a target of zero carbon emissions and zero water waste by 2030.

Vestas signs partnership deal in Russia
Vestas has cemented its position as the leading wind power company in Russia with a partnership with Rusnano, a local company. The deal will enable the Danish wind turbine manufacturer to strengthen its local supply chain in Russia, and as part of the deal it will consider using technology developed by Rusnano.