ISEQ down 20 points

The ISEQ index of Irish shares is down 20.41 points to 7566.13 after today's trading.

The ISEQ index of Irish shares is down 20.41 points to 7566.13 after today's trading.

Food group IAWS fell back 4c to €13.46 after group boss Denis Lucey told the company's AGM that IAWS saw a total operating profit of €124.4m last year, up 13.7% on the previous year.

IAWS also saw double-digit growth in diluted earnings per share for the eighth year running last year.

In the financial stocks, AIB stock fell 9c to €18.45. The bank announced today that it had completed its transaction for a new bancassurance joint venture between long-term savings players Hibernian Life & Pensions and Ark Life.

Two of the other heavy-hitters in the sector - Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank - also saw losses. BoI was down 43c to €14.06 while Anglo Irish Bank fell 19c to €12.91. Irish Life and Permanent bucked the trend, rising 7c to 17.47.

Meanwhile, food group Kerry saw its shares rise 15c to €17.90 as it denied claims by SIPTU that it awarded contracts to Polish workers because they were cheaper to employ than Irish staff.

Management is rejecting union claims it would have to pay them more because of previous experience.

It says Poles were hired as they were the only ones able to start at short notice.

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