The Week Ahead: ABF could be the latest UK firm to take a hit from the strong pound


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Sugar, sterling and Primark will all be in focus today as Associated British Foods (ABF) updates on trading. Investors will be keen to see if ABF’s discount fashion powerhouse Primark’s recent growth has continued, although Numis expects a slowdown due to tough comparative numbers. Shareholders will also look for guidance on how flagging sugar prices are affecting that part of its business, while the release could see ABF become the latest UK business to take a hit on earnings due to the strong pound.

The animal drug maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals publishes full-year figures today and Williams Grand Prix Holdings reports on first-half performance.

Tomorrow Dixons Carphone has its first major update since merging in early August, but the retailer will be reporting on pre-merger trading, with analysts expecting few surprises.

Tomorrow brings finals from the Cambridge biotech firm Abcam, Fenner and the construction and fit-out specialist ISG. Hilton Food Group will release its half-year report, while Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner Whitbread will tell us how business has been.

McBride, maker of white label cleaning and personal care products, has 2013 figures due mid-week, while Alliance Pharmaceuticals and B&Q owner Kingfisher discuss performance over the past six months.

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Barratt Developments and Thorntons both have preliminary figures and Sports Direct will reveal the state of the sportswear market. Greene King will report on first-quarter trading, while Hornby will discuss business in its second quarter. London Stock Exchange has a pre-close statement.

Thursday will see final results from the investment manager Ashmore and retailer Dunelm. The supermarket chain Morrisons will offer up half-year figures, as will Next and M&C Saatchi. Online grocer Ocado has third-quarter trading figures, while electronics retailer Darty will report on its first quarter. Engineer Ricardo has preliminary results and Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail has a trading statement.

Friday brings preliminary figures from JD Wetherspoon and third-quarter numbers from SThree.