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ISEQ rises for second day, ICG gains

Thursday, March 06 12:49:56

The ISEQ rose for the second straight day today, led by a 1.3pc jump in Irish Continental Group's stocks on the back of strong earnings results.

By 12:30, the index was up 47.64 points to 5,154.28.

Irish Ferries owners, Irish Continental Group (ICG) today said its revenue for the year to the end of December rose by 3.4pc to E264.7m from E256.1m as the upturn in the economy lifted passenger numbers. Operating profits for the year grew by over 13pc to E30m from E26.5m. The company said the number of passengers it carried last year rose by 1.6pc to 1.568 million passengers while the number of cars using its services fell by 0.8pc to 350,000. Its Ro-Ro freight services saw an 11.8pc jump to 205,300 units, while container freight units increased by 10.4pc to 279,200. ICG said it was proposing a final dividend of 67 cent, which makes a total dividend for the year of 100 cent. ICG's shares climbed 40c to E31.40.

Shares in Aer Lingus were flat at E1.68 after it said total traffic for February, including Aer Lingus Regional scheduled flights, was down 1.2pc to 640,000 passengers compared to February 2013, the airline said today.

Shares in Ryanair rose 17c to E7.55 as passenger numbers rose by 7pc in February to 4.5 million compared to the same month last year, the airline said this morning.

Origin Enterprises stocks rose 19c to E7.39 after it said revenues in its first half of the year dipped slightly but that it is raising its earnings guidance for the full year. The company said revenue for the six month period fell by 8.8pc to E517.6m from E567.7m due to both lower global fertiliser and feed prices. These were partially offset by increased fertiliser, crop protection and crop marketing volumes. Operating profits from the agri services sector rose to E4m from E2.4m the same time the previous year after a return to more normal winter cropping patterns after the extreme weather conditions in the previous period.