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The week ahead in business and finance

The week ahead in business and finance

Outsourcing company Mitie is expected to prompt a fall in full-year revenues today after it warned of tough trading conditions earlier this year. The FTSE 250 group said clients had cancelled work as a result of “increased economic pressures and uncertainty”, when it issued its pre-close trading update March.

However, Mitie had been proactively managing its cost base in response to a challenging trading backdrop. Pre-tax profits are forecast to drop 2pc year-on-year to around £111.8m. Nevertheless, management still expect to post modest growth next year after securing new contracts in the facilities management division. However, its homecare unit, which provides help at home services for people with learning disabilities, is also challenging.

Investors will be interested to find out if the introduction of the new National Living Wage has adversely impacted the Bristol-based company’s earnings.

Full-year results: Mitie, Tissue Regenix Group

AGMs: Hvivo, Stocks Spirits Group

Economics: CBI industrial order expectations (UK), Flash manufacturing PMI (US), flash services PMI (US), consumer confidence (EU), flash services PMI (EU), flash manufacturing PMI (EU).

Tuesday 24 May

Investors will be keen to find out more about reports Entertainment One was in talks to be acquired by UK broadcaster ITV, when it releases its full-year results tomorrow. Shares have bounced on the run up to its results on the possibility of a bid from ITV. Although the maker of Peppa Pig said it had not received an approach from the British broadcaster, investors believes the story is “clearly plausible” and will be anxious to find out more.
peppa pig

Malcolm Morgan, of Peel Hunt believes a bid is “entirely possible” but said that “any premium would surely be based on the share price run”. The mid-cap company is forecast to record full-year sales of £797.5m and pre-tax profits of £98.2m. Meanwhile, last week US hedge fund Livermore Partners said it wanted to add directors to Entertainment One’s board in its latest attempts to spur changes at the group.

Full-year results: Helical Bar, Hogg Robinson Group, McKay Securities, Porta Communications, Fast forward Innovations, Homeserve, Severn Trent, De La Rue, Cranswick, Big Yellow Group, Coms, Entertainment One

Interim results: UK Mail Group, Easyhotel, Renew Holdings, Frutarom Industries

Trading update: Card Factory, Kingfisher, Tungsten Corporation, Keller Group

AGMs: GVC Holdings, Metro Bank, Royal Dutch SHell, Telit Communications, Quarto Group, Audioboom Group

Economics: BBA Mortgage approvals (UK), Gfk consumer confidence (UK), public sector net borrowing (UK), durable goods orders m/m (US), new home sales (US), ZEW economic sentiment (EU), final GDP q/q (GER)

Wednesday 25 May

Analysts expects Marks & Spencer’s full-year results due for release on Wednesday could set “an optimistic tone” after new chief executive Steve Rowe made his presence felt by streamlining the management team.

Caroline Gulliver, of Jefferies said, Mr Rowe will give his “vision” for the retailer this week, as the broker forecasts a 2pc rise in full-year pre-tax profits on the back of better-than-expected full-year results. Investors will be keen to find out Mr Rowe’s plans for further improvements across the general merchandise unit, which has struggled in recent years due to weak consumer demand.

Fierce competition has wreaked havoc across the retail sector and fears of rising unemployment have also dented consumer confidence in recent months. However, Marks & Spencer’s retail division continues to outperform the market, thanks to its shift to convenience stores.

Shaftesbury will post its half-year results on Wednesday and forecasts suggest the owner of Carnaby St and Chinatown properties should post net asset value growth of around 5pc. In February, the UK-listed company said the weeks leading up to and throughout Christmas and New Year were “exceptionally busy” thanks to additional visitors and spending at the West End.

It said the sustained buoyancy in the local economy underpinned its continued strong tenant demand across all its locations in the capital city. IT also pointed towards £28 of acquisitions and the start of the 46,00 square foot Charing Cross/China Town redevelopment. Investors will be hoping to find out how the redevelopment process is going and receive an update on the reconfiguration of 57 Broadwick Street, after it received planning permission in January to extend and refurbish the building. Other areas of interest will include any comments on business rates and their impact on rental growth.

Analysts in the City said the business rate review could see tenants paying around 40pc higher rates from 2017 onwards.

Full-year results: Marks & Spencer, Babcock International, Pennon Group, Great Portland Estates, NewRiver Retail, Wizz Air Holdings

Interim results: Ediston Property Investment Company, Reach4Entertainment Enterprises, Shaftesbury

Trading update: Intertek Group, Dixons Carphone

AGMs: Nahl Group, Igas Energy, Paysafe Group, LiDCO, Intertek Group, Air China, e-Therapeutics

Economics: CBI realised sales (UK), goods trade balance (US), HPI m/m (US), GfK consumer climate (GER)

Thursday 26 May

Sophos Group will post its full-year results on Thursday and after reporting third-quarter figures in February, which were in line with market expectations, analysts expect sales of $485.3m. Meanwhile, pre-tax profits are forecast to come in at $36.7m. In recent months, the stock has floundered amid concerns over its accounting methodology and the overhang of Apax Partners’ holding in the group.

The company, which provides network security solutions, acquired SurfRight BV in December for $38.1m. At its half-year results, the Oxford-based business upgraded its outlook for this year, highlighting that billings growth is set to be in the range of high-teens to 20pc growth. Management said they were confident that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margins will be slightly in excess of 21.3pc.

Full-year results: Vectura Group, Sophos Group, QinetiQ Group, Paypoint, United Utilities Group, Tate & Lyle, Lombard Risk Management

Interim results: Urban & Civic, Daily Mail and General Trust

Trading update: Inchape, SVG Capital

AGMs: Acron, Keywords Studios, Leal & General Group, Depa, Bank of Georgia, Powerflute, Georgia Healthcare Group, Jersery Oil and Gas, Huntsworth, Faron Pharmaceuticals

Economics: Second estimate GDP q/q (UK), prelim business investment q/q (UK), index of services (UK), unemployment claims (US), pending home sales m/m (US), ECB financial stability review (EU)

Friday 27 May

AGMs: Tekcapital, Bodycote, Flying Brands, AcenciA Debt Strategies

Economics: prelim GDP price index q/q (US), revised UoM consumer sentiment (US), revised UoM inflation expectations (US)

Courtesy : telegraph.co.uk



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