The Week Ahead: Asos hoping to flog festive party outfits this week


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The Independent Online

Christmas parties are in the offing and one retailer hoping to flog plenty of festive party outfits is in focus this week: Asos.

The online retailer reports on first-quarter trading tomorrow, with Numis predicting a slowdown in growth. Analyst Andrew Wade believes a lack of stock and the weakening euro means sales are likely to have grown by just 9 per cent in the period, compared to 15 per cent last year and an earlier forecast of 17.7 per cent.

However, Mr Wade is hopeful that these issues will clear as the year progresses, thanks to the benefits of zonal pricing kicking in and weaker comparison figures.

There are no corporate announcements of note today, but tomorrow sees full-year figures from the Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou-backed easyHotel, as well as the intellectual property translation specialist RWS Holdings and high-performance parts manufacturer Victrex. Cloud computing company iomart has interims and Anglo American has an investor day.

Wednesday brings finals from Alternative Networks and half-year numbers from Micro Focus and Stagecoach. Ashtead is to deliver second-quarter figures while Carillion, N Brown and PZ Cussons put out management statements.

Darty, Polar Capital and SuperGroup have interims on Thursday.

Sports Direct also has an interim update, with Sheridan Admans of The Share Centre saying: “The sports equipment retailer signalled a rather patchy start to the second quarter when it reported healthy sales in the first quarter, so the market will be keen to see if this trend continued to the end of the period.

“Any comments on current trading, as the company enters the most critical sales period of the year, will also attract attention.”

Thursday brings management statements from Ocado, Whitbread, Go-Ahead Group and Wood Group.

The week comes to an end with a trading update from the house builder Bellway.

Numis says: “We expect Bellway to report that whilst the housing market has moderated it is still selling more houses than last year, due to the growth in the number of outlets.”