IRELAND is one of just two countries in a 45-nation survey where companies listed on the stock exchange are expected to see profits decline, according to a comprehensive survey of analysts' expectations.
Companies listed on the Dublin stock exchange are likely to see a slump in profits this year following a bank-led slump last year.
Profits at stock exchanges in most other countries are forecast to rise as the world economy shakes off the financial crisis that triggered a recession in most Western countries.
Egypt is the only other country where profits are expected to fall.
None of the country's banks are expected to make a profit this year and many other heavyweights are struggling.
CRH shocked shareholders in August with a profit warning. Other listed companies, such as home builder McInerney, have suffered an even worse time.
While the ISEQ fell 3pc last year, shares are not particularly cheap relative to profit.
Companies listed on exchanges in Norway, Italy and Mexico are the cheapest of the 45 countries surveyed when company profits and share prices are taken into account, according to calculations by Bloomberg.