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ISEQ down as investors run for cover
Wednesday, 16th May 2012 12.56pm

The main Dublin shares index fell again this morning as investors ran for cover in the face of growing expectations that Greece will leave the euro and default.

By 12:45, the ISEQ fell 3.07 points to 3,081.67.

European shares sank to new 2012 lows on Wednesday in a broad-based sell-off as concern over contagion from Greece gripped investors. The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.7 percent to 991.03, having dropped 0.7 percent today after Greek politicians failed to put together a ruling coalition, paving the way for a new election and ramping up concern over what would happen if it leaves the euro zone.

C and C has reported full year results to end-February. Davy said that the results were as expected. C and C core earnings (EBIT) was E111m. The company had guided in its statement on January 17th that it expected EBIT of c.E110m. Net cash was slightly better than we expected at E68m (Davy: E65m). Earnings per share rose to 27.6c (Davy: 27.6c) while revenue declined to E480m (-4.8pc constant currency). Group EBIT margin was 23.1pc (+290bps). The dividend payout is to be raised to 30pc from 25pc and the company states that it will pursue a progressive dividend policy. We are leaving our forecasts for full year 2012/13 unchanged with EBIT of E117m. In GB cider, Magners revenue growth was 0.7pc - we had expected broadly flat growth. Gaymers revenue declined -27pc, mainly due to the removal of loss-making activity. GB cider revenue and EBIT was E172.8m and E29.5m respectively. Profits in Ireland were broadly flat on last year. Bulmers sales in Ireland declined -8pc (-6pc price deflation), in line with the H1 trend. Operating profit was E42.2m in cider with margins expanding to 46.1pc. The beer business contributed E2.2m. Shares in the group fell 14c to E3.45.

There was a 6.4pc fall at the latest Fonterra foodstuffs auction on May 15th. Weakness in all products and across all contract periods - with the long end of the futures curve exhibiting most weakness - was recorded at the Global Dairy Trade auction on May 15th. Butter fat (-11.9pc) and whole milk powder (-8.9pc) recorded most weakness. It is the third successive fall at the fortnightly auction, and the ninth of the past 12 auctions, with the most recent falls greater in amplitude than has been normal in the history of the event. Current prices are below their average real level of the past decade. The last such occurrence was in mid-2009 when global prices plummeted to historic lows. Current prices remain a good way above those lows. Shares in Glanbia rose 5c to E5.85.

CRH has announced that it has transferred its 49pc shareholding in Secil, the Portuguese cement producer, to Semapa, its former joint venture partner. The transfer follows the finding of an Arbitral Tribunal in Paris last year which ruled that both parties had breached the terms of the joint venture. While both companies were in breach, the tribunal found that Semapa was entitled to exercise its call option on CRH's 49pc stake. This stake was valued at E574m by the tribunal. CRH has now transferred the stake to Semapa and received net proceeds of E564.5m. These proceeds reflect the E574m valuation, adjusted for legal costs and other amounts due to Semapa. Semapa has indicated that it intends to continue its appeal against the ruling in the Cour d'Appel (Court of Appeal) in Paris. CRH will be represented at the hearing. Its shares fell 7c to E13.83.

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