Financial and construction sectors aid ISEQ increase

The ISEQ index of ended the day above the 7800 mark as it acquired 68.97 points to stand at 7861.95.

After a poor start, all but one of the financials recovered - AIB bucking the trend with a three cent fall to €19.65, despite the announcement of pre-tax profits of €1.7bn for 2005, which was a 23% increase on its €1.3bn profit in 2004.

Chief executive Eugene Sheehy said half the bank’s profit had been made in its overseas divisions. AIB’s profit from its Irish operation increased by 24% to €779m.

Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland was up 16c to €15.02, Irish Life & Permanent climbed 19c to €18.18, and Anglo Irish went up by 12c to €13.21.

The construction sector followed the positive trend as Kingspan surged 25c to €11.90 and building material group CRH grew 20c to €27.30.

Housebuilder Abbey saw their stock go up 10c to €10.20, while rival Grafton Group increased their price by 19c to €9.85.

Pharmaceutical giant Elan bounced back from yesterday's nosedive, adding 7c to €11.57.

The largest riser was food group IAWS, which saw their share price soar 32c to €14.07, while rivals Kerry group had a 10c fall to stand at €18.60.

Elsewhere, insurance group FBD Holdings increased by 17c to €38.17.

On the negative side, shipping firm Irish Continental fell by 17c to €11.33 and Paddy Power went down by 16c to €13.14.

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