Cash falls €1bn as debt rises €2bn at Iseq firms

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Sunday Business - Fearghal O’Con­nor

THE com­bined cash on the books of Ire­land’s 20 largest listed com­pa­nies fell by more than a bil­lion euro over the past year, while debt rose by more than €2bn.

House­builders Cairn Homes and Glen­veagh Prop­er­ties were some of the big­gest spenders last year. Cairn’s most re­cently re­ported cash bal­ance was down 32pc to €46.4m com­pared to where it stood in 2017. Glen­veagh’s cash fell 54pc to €163m.

The cash held by the 20 big­gest listed com­pa­nies was €8.3bn, dou­ble what it was 10 years ago in 2008 for the then 20 big­gest firms on the Ir­ish Stock Ex­change.

Nev­er­the­less, Iseq heavy­weights Ryanair and CRH saw big falls in their cash bal­ances — down 32pc to €2.8bn and more than 12pc to €1.8bn re­spec­tively — largely due to ma­jor share buy­back schemes.

But other well-known com­pa­nies such as Kingspan, To­tal Pro­duce and Aryzta also saw cash re­serves fall in 2018, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data from Bloomberg.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, com­bined debt at the top 20 largest Iseq com­pa­nies rose with CRH adding al­most €2bn alone as it con­tin­ued a global ac­qui­si­tions spree. Ryanair, by con­trast, re­duced its debt by al­most €500m in the past year.

Kingspan also saw a 36pc jump in debt to €663m, the fig­ures showed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.