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My picks are no flyers by any stretch

Tom has done alright with his previous year's stock pick and he's sticking with them.

Economic carnage might be stalking Europe but Ryanair profits are growing, albeit by less, but still up 10 per cent and passenger numbers up 12 per cent in 2011, which is not bad going. But forecasts predict just 4 per cent growth in passengers in 2012, with the obvious likely knock-on effect on profits.

Boss Michael O'Leary is holding out the prospect of a €500m special dividend in 2013, so the shares have further to go for Tom. "Our aim is to drive the share price up and not to be dribbling out dividends to shareholders," O'Leary said recently.

McGurk takes a punt again on Paddy Power. Its share price rose 25 per cent on the start of 2011, and the bookie became the most valuable in Europe by share price with a market cap of almost €2bn. Major growth in online and phone betting means it might continue to be a winner for him in 2012. His Aviva pick is less certain. Its share price fell 25 per cent this year to date. The big international insurance conglomerate has substantial exposure to the eurozone.

The Kerry Group shares Tom already 'bought' at kickoff in January are worth 10 per cent more now, and the €4.7bn business is now one of the world's largest food and flavourings operations.

Tom takes a further insurance bet with FBD. Bloxham is predicting the insurer could see its share price rise by more than 50 per cent. The group twice upgraded its profit forecast recently for this year and has cut down its property market exposure by spinning off its property and leisure business.

Tom is sticking with out-of-favour sandwich-maker giant Greencore. Consumer food is a tough market with all these people making their own sandwiches at home these days. Like CRH, Greencore is moving off the ISEQ and on to the London Stock Exchange in January hoping to lure in more international investors.

Sunday Independent