This week in business: Smurfit Kappa results, angel investor conference
Ryanair, Jones Lang LaSalle, Tullow Oil and Manchester United report results
Smurfit Kappa Group chairman Liam O’Mahony. The paper-based packaging group reports full-year results on Wednesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Indicators: Irish services PMI (Jan); euro-zone services and composite PMI (Jan); retail sales (Dec); UK services PMI (Jan); car sales (Jan); German services and composite PMI (Jan); US services and composite PMI (Jan).
Indicators: euro-zone retail PMI (Jan); German factory orders (Dec); construction PMI (Jan); US exports and imports (Dec), economic optimism (Feb).
Meetings: Hospitality Expo industry exhibition (RDS, Dublin).
Indicators: Irish consumer confidence (Jan); UK house price index (Jan); German industrial production (Dec); US mortgage rates and applications (Feb).
The year ahead is looking bright for Smurfit Kappa Group, which reports full-year results on Wednesday.
The group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell by 3 per cent in the first nine months of the year, to €889 million, hit in particular by higher input costs and the dollar’s weakness against the euro.
Total corrugated-cardboard volumes across the group grew by 3 per cent in the third quarter.
However, in November shares in the company surged with investors seeing beyond the earnings reduction and focusing instead on prospect for a strong 2018.
In January, the group featured among Davy’s annual “convictions” list from the 120 companies it covers, pinpointing stocks its research team considers most likely to climb in value.
Shortly afterwards it became Davy’s top pick for earnings upgrade this year.
While the fundamentals of the European packaging sector have not been as positive in at least the last decade, Davy said, strong demand, tight supply and rising prices would all help provide earnings upside potential as the year progressed.
“However, we do not believe this positive momentum is reflected in the sector valuation. While we would recommend owning any of the names in the sector, Smurfit Kappa Group remains our top pick with over 14 per cent upside to our revised 3,300c price target.”
Indicators: German balance of trade (Dec); imports and exports (Dec); UK Bank of England inflation report.
Meetings: Bank of England interest rate decision; Halo Business Angel Network’s (HBAN) national conference (Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin); Policy Forum for Ireland presents “Responding to Brexit” Seminar (Spencer Hotel, Dublin); Enterprise Ireland launches its Northern Powerhouse report on opportunities for Irish business in the north of England. (Gibson Hotel, Dublin).
It is Ireland’s only angel investment-focused event and on Thursday the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) national conference has set its sights on signing up a record 35 new investors bringing a combined €7 million in funds.
This pool will provide a cash injection for ambitious Irish start-ups seeking to scale internationally.
The conference – the product of a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland – will also feature internationally-renowned speakers including “super angel” Christopher Mirabile, tech entrepreneur Peter Cowley and Feargall Kenny, who will talk about how to become a successful investor.
Aside from that, it will see the largest gathering of angel syndicates, with representatives from nine in attendance.
John Phelan, HBAN’s national director, described angel investing as a “vital element” in the start-up world.
“We are confident that we will reach our target of €7 million and 35 new business angels to invest in the dynamic and innovative start-up scene in Ireland,” he said. Last HBAN raised €6 million from two days of road shows.
The national conference will include panel discussions on best practice in angel investing and how to use the HBAN network to gain access to a funnel of pre-qualified investable start-ups.
Workshops will provide advice to both seasoned investors and new angels, and will focus on portfolio management, exit strategies, due diligence, the role of a lead angel in investments and the value of syndicates.
Indicators: UK industrial and manufacturing production (Dec), construction output (Dec).