The Week Ahead: Babcock International gets its first chance to react publicly to the election


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The Independent Online

In a busy week for utilities, Babcock International will get its first chance to react publicly to the election today as the public-sector outsourcer holds full-year results. Babcock was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 the day after the election, with shareholders pleased that the Trident project it is involved in looks safe.

As the Ministry of Defence’s second-biggest supplier, investors will be keen to hear whether ongoing projects will speed up now the predicted coalition talks never materialised.

Tomorrow, Vodafone is expected to unveil strong results, after months of upgrades by the analyst community, salivating at the idea that its £6bn Project Spring investment plan is starting to bear fruit. Bosses will also get a chance to push their views on rival BT’s takeover of EE and react to Ofcom’s decision on Friday to make the former state-run monopoly give control of some of its wires to Vodafone and other broadband competitors.

Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One will also give its full-year results tomorrow, where it will update investors on a year in which the family pig cartoon remained in strong demand.

Wednesday is the turn of the retailers, with Burberry and Marks & Spencer vying for coverage of their results. The luxury fashion business will explain how its Chinese adventures are going, after it struggled earlier this year from the Hong Kong protests and new laws banning corporate gifting.

At M&S, chief executive Marc Bolland will tell the market whether five years of hard work to turn the high-street retailer around have finally paid off. Pre-tax profit consensus expects a 4 per cent boost to £648m – the first rise in four years.

SSE was another big riser after the election and has its results on Wednesday, where it can react to Labour’s threat of a price freeze coming to nothing.

On Thursday, two former state-owned businesses, National Grid and Royal Mail, have their full-year results.  The postal service gives its second set of results, expecting a 15 per cent boost in profits to £416m.

The water utility Severn Trent, wraps up the week on Friday with its results as boss Liv Garfield gets to have her say on what the election means for the company.