The Week Ahead: Carpetright is unlikely to get the red carpet treatment


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The Independent Online

Carpetright is unlikely to get the red carpet treatment from investors at its half-year results tomorrow. They are still reeling from its profit warning in October.

It has had problems in the European business, but analysts at Numis expect Europe now to be on track for a “modest full-year operating loss, against earlier hopes of break-even”.

A big question for investors is finding a new chief executive, after the unexpected resignation of Darren Shapland.

Lord Harris, the major shareholder, founder and chairman, is executive chairman until a replacement is found.

Also tomorrow is the coffee-to-hotel group Whitbread’s quarterly update, while the holiday group Tui Travel will reveal full-year results.

Thomas Cook recently reported solid trading, so investors expect Thomson owner Tui’s also to be good. Numis forecasts earnings up 18 per cent to £580m.

The smartphone microchip designer Imagination Technologies is expected to report a half-year update in line with expectations on Wednesday. Analysts at Jefferies expect volumes to have grown, but also warn that ongoing weakness in the average royalty rate and the fact that its licensing of graphics is “still weak” is likely to hit results. Jefferies expects sales of £95.4m.

Toward the end of the week retailers and transport groups will report. Go Ahead’s statement is due on Thursday, following Stagecoach on Wednesday. Analysts at Panmure Gordon expect new contract wins to have helped the bus and train operator Stagecoach accompanied by good growth in its US business.

The Superdry owner Supergroup has already reported strong first-half sales, and analysts expect profit growth to be up 20 per cent. Investec forecasts underlying pre-tax profit of £17.7m.

The sports chain Sports Direct is forecast to continue its strong growth. Liberum predicts “double-digit sales and earnings growth into the medium term” while Citi expects a full year pre-tax profit of £265m.

The housebuilder Bellway ends the week. Housing stocks have been boosted by rising property prices, better mortgage deals and government schemes. Numis forecasts 34 per cent growth in earnings per share.