Tuesday, August 27 12:42:18
The ISEQ fell in line with the rest of Europe's equity indices this morning amid fears over intervention in Syria with the fall led by FBD stocks after its interim report.
By 12:30, the index was down 55.56 points to 4,169.29.
FBD shares fell 46c to E15.95 after it reported pre-tax profits of E19.1m for the six months to the end of June, down from the E21.8m the same time last year. The company said the fall in profits was expected and was due to reduced returns in global investment markets and a number of above average claims early in the reporting period. FBD said its interim dividend for the six months rose by 29pc to 15.75 cent. It also reaffirmed its full year operating earnings per share guidance at between 145 and 155 cent per share. Andrew Langford, the company's chief executive, said the results are ''excellent'' given the difficult economic conditions. ''Key strategic initiatives delivered an increase in premium and customer numbers in an insurance market that continued to contract, resulting in further growth in FBD's market share,'' he added. "The outlook statement is positive. FBD expects to continue to outperform the market and although operating earnings of 63c are down on H1 2012's 74c and below our forecast 69.8c, the group has reiterated its FY guidance of operating EPS of 145-155c. We will review our forecasts (FY operating EPS of 156.6c) after this morning's briefing but do not anticipate any significant change," said Davy Stockbrokers.
Continued weakness in the advertising markets in both Ireland and the UK saw first half revenues at Belfast-based UTV Media fall 10pc, interim results showed today. The six months to the end of June saw Group revenue of £55.2m compared to the £61.6m recorded in the same period in 2012 while pre-tax profits came in at £6.1m compared to £10.7m previously. Group operating profit fell to £7.8m from the £12.4m recorded a year earlier while net debt of £50.2m was almost unchanged. However, the company said today that trading challenges of the first half have eased in the second half of the year. Its Dublin-listed shares remained flat at E1.80.