Shares rise on good earnings reports

Smurfit and Flutter advance during session and lift Dublin market

Strong earnings reports boosted European shares on Wednesday while Smurfit Kappa and Paddy Power owner Flutter aided Dublin in outperforming others.

DUBLIN

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa surged 5.37 per cent to close at €33.97. The multinational manufacturer said first-half earnings rose 50 per cent to €1.17 billion, prompting analysts to up their full-year forecasts for the group.

Dealers said Smurfit’s ability to pass rising costs on to customers helped lure investors to the stock, which rose quickly following the announcement on Wednesday morning.

Paddy Power and Betfair owner, Flutter Entertainment, added 3.08 per cent to close at €95.74. Traders observed that betting-related stocks had a good day.

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Bank Permanent TSB ended the day 0.72 per cent ahead at €1.39 after reporting that it lost €36 million before taxes in the first six months of the year.

Ryanair closed 01.6 per cent ahead at €12.65, dealers said the stock approached €13 during the day, but “met some resistance at that level”.

Others in the Irish giant’s industry performed ing strongly after Wizz Air confirmed a first-quarter loss but predicted it would make a material operating profit this year.

LONDON

Woodies’ DIY owner Grafton Group added 1.51 per cent to close at 786 pence sterling as good news from Ibstock boosted building-related stocks.

The Irish DIY and builders’ merchant group has its sole listing in London and does much of its business in Britain and Europe.

Brick maker Ibstock reported a 32 per cent increase in first-half pretax profits to £51 million sterling, sending its shares soaring by 8.7 per cent to 195.1p.

Joe Hudson, chief executive, reported good demand for its bricks and cement across all businesses. The company will increase its interim dividend by one-third to 3.3p a share. The news lifted most building-linked stocks.

Irish-based, London-listed United Oil & Gas predicted that group revenue for the first half of 2022 would be around $10 million. Its shares slipped 7.14 per cent to 1.95p.

Dettol and Lysol maker Reckitt Benckiser advanced 2.76 per cent to 6,550p. The company swung to a first-half profit of £1.69 billion from a £1.94 billion loss last year, aided by lower costs. Its board recommended an unchanged interim dividend of 73p.

Shares in Ryanair rival Wizz Air took off, gaining 10.4 per cent to close at 2,169p. The airline reported a first-quarter loss of €285 million, around 2½ times the €109 million it lost during the same period last year. However, the company said it expected to make a material operating profit.

Aer Lingus owner, International Consolidated Airlines’ Group, gained 5.21 per cent to close at 119.06p. Low-cost carrier EasyJet added 4.66 per cent to 390.7p.

Labrokes and Coral parent Entain gained 3.23 per cent to 1,181.5p on a good day for the sector.

EUROPE

Cement maker and CRH rival Holcim climbed 4.5 per cent to 43.20 Swiss francs after reporting a 15 per cent increase in first-half operating profit to $2.15 billion.

Germany’s Heidelberg Cement added 1.44 per cent to €47.91 following the news while Italian player Buzzi Unicem gained 2 per cent to €17.30.

Air France KLM added 3.37 per cent to €1.27 on the back of Wizz’s positive predictions. Lufthansa climbed 3.17 per cent to €6.06.

NEW YORK

Wall Street rallied as tech earnings sparked speculation that the industry can handle an economic downturn. The Nasdaq 100 jumped about 2.5 per cent as Google owner, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Texas Instruments posted solid revenue growth and expressed optimism about the coming months.

Their results set the tone for a week that will include earnings from behemoths Meta, Apple and Amazon. Two-year US yields rose, while the rate on 10-year notes fell. — Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas