World Economy

Irish Companies See Earnings Beat Expectations

On average, companies analyzed delivered 8% earnings per share growth.On average, companies analyzed delivered 8% earnings per share growth.

Almost 88% of Ireland’s publicly-quoted companies reported earnings in recent months that either met or beat markets expectations, despite initial fears following the Brexit referendum that some companies would disappoint investors.

However, a Merrion Capital review of earnings season across 33 Irish companies highlighted that baked goods producer Aryzta, Ryanair, Tullow Oil and financial services company IFG Group posted results that missed expectations, News Now reported.

On average, companies analyzed delivered 8% earnings per share growth despite a slump in sterling against the euro impacting many companies.

CRH, Kerry Group, Grafton, Greencore, Cairn Homes and FBD Holdings were among 16 quoted companies whose EPS beat forecasts as most groups reported full-year results.

The Iseq index reached a 15-month high of 6,750.78 points last week, some 6% above where the gauge was immediately before the Brexit referendum last June, which triggered a 17% slump in Irish shares over the course of a few days.

“The Irish economy continues to deliver robust economic growth led by domestic consumption and higher employment in the first quarter of 2017,” said David Holohan, chief investment officer at Merrion Capital, in a report issued to clients last week.

“Despite the above-average gross domestic product growth, the Iseq has underperformed other European markets given investor concerns about a knock-on effect to Brexit.”

Irish Continental Group, which posted a 11% surge in operating earnings to a record €83.5 million last year to meet analysts’ expectations, is the top performing stock in the Iseq 10 index of the country’s largest public companies so far this year. Shares in the Brexit-sensitive company have surged 17% since the end of December, to recover some of the ground lost after the UK referendum on EU membership.

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