The Week Ahead: Babcock takes on Heathrow baggage

Did you take a trip over the Easter break? Next time you pass through Heathrow, Babcock International is going to be working very hard not to lose your luggage.

For those of you who still choose to check in your bags, Babcock is now running the baggage-handling operations and maintenance for Heathrow airport and provides ground fleet maintenance to British Airways.

The contract, which it won this year, runs for five years and is worth around £440m. It is one of a number of new wins for the outsourcing specialist.

At the start of this year, Babcock's order book was stable at around £12bn, with new contracts in the pipeline including work from Network Rail and the BBC.

It is due to issue a pre-close trading statement tomorrow and analysts at Peel Hunt predict full-year pre-tax profits of £313m and a raised dividend of 25p.

Babcock is one of only a few corporate updates this week, but a series of economic updates will be closely watched by the City.

Key indicators on mortgage approvals and the Halifax House Price Index will be clues to how the economy is faring: house prices are slowly rising but the rate of mortgage approvals has not witnessed a corresponding boost – last month it was revealed that mortgage approvals for home buyers dipped for the first time since the government scheme to boost lending was launched last year.

The latest data on consumer credit lending will also be revealed, and is likely to show that despite the Government's efforts, lending to people and businesses is not growing.

On Thursday the health group BTG, the anti-venom to cancer drug group, will report its trading update. Last month Investec rated the group a buy with a 390p price target. They think BTG has now "evolved from a pure licensing play into a high-quality, diversified healthcare company with a number of attractive growth opportunities".

They expect its chief executive, Louise Makin, to produce another positive update after the recent good news that it has found a treatment for varicose veins.

From snake-bite antidotes to pizzas, Thursday is also the day for Domino's Pizza to reveal its first-quarter update. It has experienced a bit of a slowdown of late, and Numis Securities forecasts pre-tax profits of £50.5m – some way below long-term historic growth rates. The shares are near an all-time high of 600p, so Numis thinks they look expensive.

The engineering consultancy Amec's trading update may disappoint on Thursday. In February, the shares slumped after its results. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity think they might have fallen too far, but they are concerned about its "tepid" organic growth plan and slower growth against its peer group. They rate the stock a hold with a 1,215p price target for the shares ahead of Thursday's update.

Flying in on Friday is an update from easyJet – its first trading statement since it joined the FTSE 100. Analysts at Numis expect a positive update. They think flights for the ski season were strong and the very poor weather in the UK has provided a "significant boost to recent bookings".

They think the budget airline will issue a confident outlook statement, with a chance that the full-year guidance will be upgraded. Numis has pencilled in a £405m profit figure, and consensus is at £400m.

Results/Updates: Andor Technology, BTG, Amec, Babcock International, Domino's Pizza, easyJet, 21st Century Technology, Eurasia Drilling, Bond International Software.

Economics Diary


Halifax house price index, Purchasing managers' index – construction, Manufacturing purchasing managers' index, Services purchasing managers' index, M4 money supply data, Net lending to individuals, EU unemployment rate, US factory orders.


British Retail Consortium shop price index, Construction PMI purchasing managers' index, Bank of England interest rate announcement and asset purchase target, US non-farm employment change, US crude oil inventories.


Asset purchase facility, Official Bank Rate, Monetary Policy Committee rate statement, European Central Bank press Conference, US unemployment claims.


New car registrations, EU foreign currency reserves, US non-farm employment change, US trade balance, US unemployment rate; Average hourly earnings.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam