Friday 24 November 2017

Strong growth in Paddy Power as Monti hopes boost Irish shares

Paddy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy hailed 'a great first half' for the company
Paddy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy hailed 'a great first half' for the company
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, offsetting heavy losses earlier in the week, as strong growth in Paddy Power combined with the appointment of Mario Monti as prime minister in Italy helped ease sentiment.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.6pc, or 16.09 points, to close at 2,679.36.

The index stormed back from an early loss to close on the up, and ahead of most European markets. Bookmaker Paddy Power led the market, with a 5.65pc, or €2.30, gain to finish at an even €43. Ireland's biggest gambling firm said it would buy an Isle of Man gaming company and raised its overall guidance for the year.

CRH also had a strong day, jumping 1.35pc, or 18c, to reach €13.18 by the end of trading.

Glanbia closed up 0.92pc, or 4c, to end at €4.41. The company released an IMS yesterday saying it expected to report full-year profits at the top end of expectations. Peer Kerry Group had a strong day as well, gaining 0.52pc to €26.15.

On the other side of the index, Smurfit Kappa Group was the laggard, closing down 4.05pc at €4.50.

Meanwhile, European stocks ended the day unchanged, after swinging between gains and losses, as Mario Monti became Italy's new prime minister amid concern the sovereign-debt crisis is hurting the global economy.

Political

National benchmark indices rose in 11 of the 18 western- European markets. France's CAC 40 Index added 0.5pc, the UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.2pc and Germany's DAX Index lost 0.3pc. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was unchanged.

"The market is reacting very strongly to any news," said Guillaume Duchesne, an equity strategist at BGL BNP Paribas in Luxembourg. "The political situation will remain a determining factor. We'll see what happens with Italy."

"Market participants do not want to give up hope on a resolution of the EU crisis as the EU remains focused on finding means to expand its bailout fund," said Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London.

BMW and Daimler, the world's biggest makers of luxury cars, lost 3.2pc and 0.9pc respectively.

Vivendi advanced 5.6pc. The owner of the world's largest video-game and music companies reported third-quarter profit that exceeded estimates.

Game Group Plc sunk 46pc after the UK computer-game retailer reported a 10.6pc drop in total sales in the 41 weeks to November 12 and lowered its full-year revenue forecast.

The recruiter Michael Page International climbed 5.8pc.

Home Retail Group, which owns the Argos catalogue stores, sank 7.5pc as Deloitte predicted that this Christmas may be the first in the UK with no growth in retail sales since 2008.

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