The Week Ahead: Catlin strengthened by dearth of disasters

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The Independent Online


Last year was tough for the Lloyd's of London insurers as a run of natural disasters resulted in catastrophe claims reaching a record high. Thankfully for the sector, 2012 has been somewhat quieter so far – good news for Catlin, which kicks off the week with its half-year figures.

However, although he says the group will have benefited, Numis Securities' Nick Johnson does point out that it is less exposed to catastrophe risk that some of its rivals. The analyst also adds it will have been hit by such events as the recent drought and wildfires in the US, although he says he is still expecting "a strong first-half result".

Results/Updates: Catlin, easyJet, Morgan Sindall, Share and Telecity.


Will investors be persuaded to check into InterContinental by the hotel giant's interim results on Tuesday? The company should reveal a 5.2 per cent increase in its revenue per available room, according to JP Morgan Cazenove's predictions, with analysts from the broker expecting a lack of growth in Europe to be countered by a 10.6 per cent jump in greater China.

There could also be further comments from bosses on the Office of Fair Trading's accusation last week that deals struck by InterContinental with the online travel agents and Expedia are against UK competition law.

Results/Updates: BBA Aviation, Bellway, Greggs, InterContinental Hotels, Legal & General, Meggitt, Mondi, Playtech, Premier Food, T Clarke, Xstrata and Zotefoams.


After fellow heavyweight miner Anglo American missed forecasts with its results last month thanks to rising costs and falling prices, the same issues will be in focus when Rio Tinto announces its first-half numbers on Wednesday.

RBC Capital Market's Des Kilalea points out that the digger's huge exposure to iron ore means it will have been hit by the sharp drop in the commodity's price. Meanwhile, the analyst will also be looking for comments about whether Rio will make any cuts to its capital expenditure plans and the level of cost inflation it has suffered from.

Results/Updates: Aquarius Platinum, Cobham, Expansys, Old Mutual, Rio Tinto and Yamana Gold.


Following recent reports claiming it has received a number of approaches for its US division, Aviva's attempts to slim down by exiting 16 of its units should continue to be at the forefront of investors' minds on Thursday when the insurer announces its interim results.

The group has already managed to sell half of its shares in Dutch peer Delta Lloyd, and Investec's Kevin Ryan notes there could be news "as to the likely timing of the next stage of the non-core business disposal programme". In terms of the numbers, the analyst predicts that the severe weather conditions in the UK will have seen Aviva's general insurance profits drop 5 per cent, while he also expects its interim dividend to be kept steady.

Although the final three months of the year is when Tui Travel makes most of its money, Numis Securities' Wyn Ellis believes Thursday's third-quarter trading update will be "important for setting the scene".

The rainy summer in the UK should have helped the tour operator with last-minute bookings, he says, adding that although the Olympics may have caused some disruption, "we do not expect the impact to be significant."

Results/Updates: AMEC, Aviva, Bumi, Enterprise Inns, Hill & Smith, Grainger, Psion, Randgold Resources, Savills and TUI Travel.


The end of the week sees Prudential release its half-year results, and JP Morgan Cazenove's Ashik Musaddi says he will be focusing on news from the insurance giant's US operations.

Pointing out that there was a £320m dividend paid from that side of the business to the main company in the first half of the last financial year, the scribbler is not confident about a repeat, saying a payment this time "would be a stretch" for Prudential.

Results/Updates: Essar Energy, Flybe, Prudential, SVG Capital and UK Coal.

Economics Diary

Today Eurozone Sentix investor confidence data.

Tomorrow British Retail Consortium retail sales monitor; Industrial production; Manufacturing production; National Institute of Economic and Social Research GDP estimate; US consumer credit data.

Wednesday Bank of England inflation report; US 10-year bond auction; US crude oil inventories; US preliminary nonfarm productivity data; US preliminary unit labour costs.

Thursday European Central Bank monthly bulletin; Trade balance; US 30-year bond auction; US natural gas storage report; US trade balance; US unemployment claims; US wholesale inventories.

Friday Producer price index; US import price index; US monthly budget statement; US Treasury International Capital long-term purchases.