The Week Ahead: Analysts are betting Betfair is onto a winner


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The Independent Online

Place your bets ahead of tomorrow when Betfair reports its half-year results.

Analysts at HSBC are betting the online bookie is on to a winner and will reveal continued benefits from cost savings and good growth.

Numis’s scribblers are attracted by its growing cash pile “which provides a buffer against the financial impact of regulatory change and could provide funding for acquisitions”.

They forecast second-quarter revenue of £62m (excluding the US business).

On Wednesday supermarket giant Tesco will unveil its third-quarter update which the City is already expecting to be weak. Analysts at JP Morgan expect “a sequential worsening in group like-for-like sales” driven by the UK “where the July weather effect that helped second-quarter sales disappears”.

JP Morgan predicts “weak trading across the group and a high risk of a profit warning”. It expects UK comparable sales growth to fall by 1.2 per cent.

Also midweek is the accountancy software specialist Sage. Numis’s tech expert forecasts the results to be solid, with trading improving due to the stronger economy and “good subscriber numbers” for its cloud accountancy business.

Time to smarten up on Thursday when the leather-goods specialist Mulberry will issue its half-year results. It has been out of favour in the City this year following weaker sales and the loss of its creative director, Emma Hill. Chief executive Bruno Guillon will be under pressure to show that his new strategy – he joined in March last year – is starting to pay off. He wants to raise the brand’s awareness overseas and to eventually conquer Asia.

At the end of the week housebuilder Berkeley Homes’ half-year results will be eagerly anticipated. It has been benefiting from the boom in London house prices, and all building stocks have been popular as an easing in mortgage lending and government schemes such as Help to Buy helped to boost house prices and demand. But that was before Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor, shocked the City with plans to rein in mortgage lending, with changes to the Funding for Lending scheme and new affordability tests  for borrowing.