February 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Earnings help recovery after Italy poll

Corporate earnings were behind some of the biggest moves as markets regained some of the steep losses after Italy’s inconclusive elections gripped investors for two sessions.

Bouygues blamed a price war across France’s mobile phone market for a 41 per cent fall year on year in net profit to €633m in 2012. However, the group’s shares gained 13.2 per cent to €21.96 after it reassured investors the worst was over.

Bouygues said it expected its telecommunications arm’s earnings to rise in 2013.

EADS said earnings before interest, tax and exceptional items for 2012 were €3bn compared with €1.8bn in 2011. The European aerospace and defence group proposed an increase in dividends from €0.45 a share in 2011 to €0.60 a share for 2012. The stock gained 6.5 per cent to €37.14.

The benchmark CAC 40 rose 1.9 per cent to 3,691.49, recovering some of the previous session’s losses.

The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained 0.9 per cent to 1,160.58.

Shares in Endesa , the utility controlled by Italy’s Enel , rose on news that it would propose scrapping dividend payments for 2012 and would put all of its profit for that year towards retained earnings. Endesa shares rose 4.8 per cent to €17.18.

Repsol rallied one day after the Spanish company confirmed it had sold some liquefied natural gas assets to Royal Dutch Shell for a value of $6.7bn.

The sale represents its largest divestment since the group’s YPF unit was nationalised by Argentina last year and will halve the oil company’s net debt to €2.2bn. The shares climbed 4.1 per cent to €16.10.

The Spanish benchmark Ibex 35 index rallied 2 per cent to 8,136.7.

Jerónimo Martins was one of the worst-performing stocks in Europe. The Portuguese food distributor said its fourth-quarter net profit rose by per cent to €89m against analyst expectations of €115m. Its shares fell 6.1 per cent to €15.12.

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