Business World

Saturday 24 February 2018

Kerry leads the way in shares boost

Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) gained 4.32pc. Photo: Bloomberg News
Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) gained 4.32pc. Photo: Bloomberg News

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday as a wave of positive results outweighed ongoing concerns about the fiscal strength of the country following Anglo Irish Bank's losses.

For the day, the ISEQ Overall Index gained 1.33pc, or 35.53 points, to close at 2,703.86. Strong numbers from Kerry Group, Irish Life & Permanent, and Grafton Group all drove the market.

Food processing giant Kerry jumped 5.35pc to €25.92 after posting very strong results for the first half of the year and raising their guidance for the second half of 2010. Analysts said upgrades were likely to follow on Kerry's performance.

Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) gained 4.32pc, closing at €1.45 after the firm pared its half year losses back to €10m compared with an expected loss of more than €70m.

"Guidance suggests that the banking business in the second half will be broadly in line with the first six months, while the life and pensions result will be more modest than in the first half," said Davy stockbrokers' Emer Lang.

IL&P helped lift other financials, with Bank of Ireland closing up 4.05pc at 77c while pharmaceuticals group ICON gained 5.49pc, reaching €18.25 after increasing its half year profit.

Building materials group Grafton, which earlier announced that it had returned to profit in the first six months of 2010, increased 5.61pc to €2.69. Along with Grafton, the construction giant CRH also gained 1.45pc to close at €12.28.

Despite Kerry's strong results, food stocks were the big losers, as ongoing concerns about commodity prices held the market back. Glanbia, Greencore, Donegal Creameries and Fyffes all fell back between 1.4 and 3.3pc on the day.

Around Europe it was a mixed day, with national benchmark indexes advancing in 11 of the 18 western European markets after US consumer confidence and house prices increased more than forecast. All the major exchanges finished in the black, however. The UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.5pc, Germany's DAX gained 0.2pc and France's CAC increased 0.1pc. The composite Stoxx 600 rose less than 0.1pc.

"The markets have been so volatile in reacting to every snippet of bad news that a small bit of good news could take stocks far," said Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services in London. In London, commodity producers led the way. Fresnillo, a silver and gold producer, gained 3.2pc. And Randgold Resources, an African gold producer, increased 2.6pc. Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, also advan- ced, gaining 2.4pc.

ARM, a designer of semiconductors used in Apple's iPhone, soared 8.6pc. Chipmaker Intel agreed to buy Infineon's wireless unit on Monday, gaining a foothold in the mobile-phone business.

Irish Independent

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