Business Round-Up: Swedish ‘eatertainment’ chain has sights set on Denmark

Talking of looking ahead, small dips in the GDP and unemployment rate suggest Denmark is steadying the ship

For many years, the O’Learys sports bar occupied a corner at Copenhagen Central Station – the perfect place for a cheeky pint and half an hour of football before your train home.

Those days are long gone, however, as its only outlet in Denmark is at Copenhagen Airport – the perfect place for a cheeky pint and half an hour of football before your flight out of here.

But all that could change, as there are plans to open more outlets in Denmark – many more.

Potential for 25
You might think O’Learys is an Irish chain, but it is in fact Swedish (founded in 1988 in Gothenburg), and this week its chief executive Kenneth Lorentzen has been bullishly talking up its Danish expansion plans.

“We estimate there is potential for 25 restaurants in Denmark, and we have already had several dialogues regarding potential sites,” he told BT.

“It is only natural that we make a major expansion in Denmark because it is so close to our home market in Sweden. We have a strong presence in Norway, Finland and the Baltics, so we definitely need to get Denmark on the map.”

That’s eatertainment
In recent years, O’Learys has also been describing itself as an ‘eatertainment company’, and there are plans to make it one of Europe’s largest in the field. 

There are currently 110 in Europe, with plans to increase this to 300 by the end of 2025. 

“We believe we are nearing the end of the pandemic, so we, like everyone in the industry, are looking forward to having guests back in the restaurants without restrictions. All indications suggest the industry is going to grow in the future.”

Sitting pretty, but how long with it last?
The average homeowner in Denmark is 200,000 kroner better off since the Coronavirus Crisis started, reports As of March, there have been ten consecutive monthly price rises, and over the last year house, flat and summerhouse prices have risen by 12, 14 and 19 percent respectively. Søren Kristensen, the chief economist at Sydbank, has warned TV2 that the property price rises remind him of the climate before the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Unemployment rose for second consecutive month in February
Unemployment rose in February by 3,800 people to 131,700 – 4.6 percent of the workforce. Compared to February 2020, which ended just days before the Coronavirus Crisis started, the rise is only 1.0 percentage points (i.e up from 3.6). The unemployment rate also rose in January.

How the GDP rallied at the end of 2020
Denmark’s GDP rose by 0.7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2020. Overall, last year saw a fall of 2.7 percent – a +0.6 percentage point recalculation. The third quarter saw a 1.1 percent increase after a significant fall in the second quarter. Private consumption, meanwhile, increased by 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, despite the shutdown in December, and exports declined by 0.4 percent – mainly due to a 3.4 dip in the exports of services.

Country’s richest man joins ‘Dragon’ aboard Coolshop
Bestseller owner Anders Holch Povlsen, the country’s richest man, has bought a 25 percent stake in the online company Coolshop through his investment company Brightfolk. Coolshop is co-owned by Jacob Risgaard, a regular on the Danish version of ‘Dragons’ Den’. Since its founding 19 years ago, it has expanded into Iceland, England, Germany and the Netherlands.

Lundbeck loses European Court of Justice case
Lundbeck has lost an appeal case at the European Court of Justice in relation to charges it formed a cartel with four other pharma companies regarding generic antidepressants they based on Lundbeck’s drug Citalopram, for which the original patent expired around two decades ago. Lundbeck has been fined an additional 697 million kroner, and the four companies 388 million. 

Former CBS guru among world’s elite
Former Copenhagen Business School academic Keld Jensen, the founder of Center For Negotiation, has been ranked 18th among the world’s Top 30 Negotiation Professionals for 2021. Topping the list was Black Swan Group founder Chris Voss, who was previously one of the FBI’s leading international kidnapping negotiators.

Record month for trucks passing over the Great Belt Bridge
Some 149,712 trucks passed over the Great Belt Bridge in March – a new monthly record. Up 10 percent on March 2020, the record figures reflect a positive shift in consumption, Mikkel Hemmingsen, the CEO of
Storebæltsforbindelsen, told Danmarks Statistik.