The Week Ahead: Cadbury seeks to fight back by launching Trident in Britain

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The Independent Online

Confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes will give its annual results on Tuesday, and after not one but two product recalls, it will be happy to bid farewell to a distasteful 2006.

"We already know how bad last year was for Cadbury in the UK. The question will be if the bounceback will come in 2007," said Andrew Wood, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein. A key plank in the group's strategy will be the launch of Trident gum, already established in the US, over here. Although it will be difficult to gain any of the 90 per cent share commanded by Wrigley in the UK, Cadbury hopes to eat away at that market dominance.

The biggest of big banks will also take centre stage. After HSBC let loose a stinker and Bradford & Bingley came up smelling of roses, a trio of the industry's major names will unveil results to the City. Analysts are expecting a generally positive tone to the numbers, propped up by booming mortgage businesses, wealth management and investment bank fees. Keefe Bruyette & Woods predicts loan growth across the sector of "around 10 per cent".

Barclays is first up with annual results on Tuesday, and concern will centre on the continued weakness of Barclaycard amid an otherwise strong performance. Alliance & Leicester reports the next day, and Lloyds TSB on Friday.

Market watchers and traders, meanwhile, will keep a close eye on J Sainsbury. Since a private equity consortium revealed that it was pondering a takeover of the supermarket giant, it has been conspicuously silent. Market sources are speculating that this could be the week when it makes its move, given that the Sainsbury's share price has begun to slide back from the heights reached when the predators first broke cover.

Shire, the UK's number three pharmaceutical company, will unveil its annual numbers on Friday - just a couple weeks after GlaxoSmithKline and Astra- Zeneca published sparkling financial results. These were marred, however, by questions over the pipeline of new drugs to replace those losing patent protection. Shire will set itself apart, as it is expected to deliver both solid profit growth and an update on five drugs awaiting marketing approval and seven in development.

Europe's biggest defence company, BAE Systems, should publish strong annual results on Thursday - powered by increasing turnover in the US, where the defence budget continues to swell. "The order intake has been phenomenal, and that is of course partly driven by war," said Clive Forestier-Walker, an analyst at Numis Securities. However, a pall remains over the company due to the six separate Serious Fraud Office investigations that continue into the company's dealings from Qatar to Romania to Tanzania.

Another biggie slated to show up well is Anglo American. The mining giant's annual results are on Wednesday, and riding the wave of demand from China and India, as well as the sale of some assets, it is expected to report around $9.6bn (£4.9bn) in pre-tax profit, against $5.6bn last year.

Rat-catcher Rentokil Initial will update the market on Thursday on its plodding restructuring. After several painstaking quarters, Tony Shepard, an analyst at Charles Stanley, said in a note: "We believe that a turnaround in the group's fortune is under way." But that's not expected to show through in the numbers just yet. Mr Shepard predicts a pre-tax profit of £224m, down from £249m the year before.

Scottish & Newcastle has some tasty numbers on tap. Its joint venture with Carlsberg in Russia should help it reach £460m in pre-tax profits, according to Charles Stanley, compared to just £391m for the year before.

CALENDAR

Monday 19

UK RESULTS: (final) Alizyme; (interim) Tristel

Tuesday 20

UK RESULTS: (F) Barclays, Cadbury Schweppes, Cosalt, Domino's Pizza, InterContinental Hotels, Low & Bonar, Morgan Sindall, Morgan Crucible, Rexam, Scottish & Newcastle, SDL, Taylor Woodrow; (I) Thorntons

Wednesday 21

UK RESULTS: (F) Alliance & Leicester, Anglo American, Corporate Services, Croda International, George Wimpey, London Capital, Terrace Hill, XP Power; (I) Avingtrans

Thursday 22

UK RESULTS: (F) BAE Systems, Capita, Centrica, Colt Telecom, CSR, Hanson, IBS OPENSystems, Ladbrokes, Orpak Systems, Rentokil Initial, Telephonetics, Zetex; (I) Abcam, Isotron, NXT

Friday 23

UK RESULTS: (F)Advent Capital, Davis Service, Imprint, Lloyds TSB, Millennium & Copthorne, Shire, Spectris, WPP; (I) Bramble Industries

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