CRH lifts Iseq as wider European market declines

Irish building materials group surges on raised earnings forecast, Fyffes down 2.2%

Fyffes lost 2.2 per cent in early trading in Dublin on Friday

Fyffes lost 2.2 per cent in early trading in Dublin on Friday


The Iseq stood out as a bright spot in a weaker overall European equities markets in early Friday trading as the index’s largest member, CRH, raised its first-half earnings forecast.

Shares in CRH, which account for nearly 27 per cent of the Iseq, surged as much as 3.5 per cent to €27.22 at 9:15am, helping lift the benchmark Irish index up 0.75 per cent to 5,857.52.

Elsewhere, the FTSE 100 in London and the Stoxx 600, a gauge for the wider European market, were each down about 0.2 per cent.

CRH issued a surprise release to the market before the session began, raising its first-half guidance for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) by 10 per cent, to €1.1 billion.

“Given the general uncertainty in equity markets, this is a welcome update and supports our top of consensus forecasts” for CRH, said Robert Eason, an analyst with Goodbody Stockbrokers. He said his full-year earnings estimate of €3.24 billion for the group compares with the €3.09 billion market consensus.

However, Mr Eason noted that CRH’s results are heavily reliant on the second half, which makes up more than 70 per cent of the group’s results.

Elsewhere in the Dublin market, FBD rose 2.4 per cent and Bank of Ireland added 1 per cent. On the other side of the board, Fyffes lost 2.2 per cent and Permanent TSB declined 1.3 per cent.

Benchmark share gauges pared weekly gains in Asia and Europe after US shares slid from a record amid a mixed batch of US corporate earnings.

Japanese stocks dropped after the opposition of central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda to so-called “helicopter money” became clear.

Preliminary gauges of this month’s manufacturing activity in the euro zone and US are scheduled for release on Friday, while General Electric and American Airlines are among American companies reporting earnings.

Finance chiefs from the Group of 20 nations will hold weekend talks in China, covering the weakening outlook for the global economy as well as exchange-rate policies.