The Week Ahead: Cranswick sizzles as pork sales soar


Cash-strapped shoppers switching to pork to help cut costs has assisted the pork producer Cranswick to report strong sales growth. During the summer it reported first-quarter sales growth of 7.4 per cent. Numis Securities' Charles Pick reckons the growth will have continued when it reports its trading update today. Mr Pick's only warning is that "there is a risk Cranswick has to pay more for its pig meat" in future.

Rising precious metals prices have helped Vedanta Resources recently, but a setback at its iron ore business in Goa, India, caused its shares to suffer last month. Goa's state government last month suspended operations in mining following a report about bad practices and illegal mining there. The Liberum Capital scribe Ash Lazenby reckons the market will remain cautious on likely timing of a resolution, and thinks its shares will remain weak, as iron ore production from Goa makes up 11 per cent of its total.

The group has also been hit by copper and aluminium price falls. Standard & Poor issued a report last week on falling iron ore prices and said miners will be impacted, but "those able to defer capital expenditure and cut costs" would be able to withstand a period of low iron ore prices.

Lazenby gave the stock a buy rating with a target share price of £1,003, and the mining giant will issue a production progress update today.

Results/Updates: Michael Page.


The recruitment sector has been tough and the global outlook is still challenging. Peel Hunt is keeping its eye on Australia for the recruiter Hays. Henry Carver said: "Australia is likely to be slowing, as the pause in the mining resources activity will likely impact other sectors in the region." He sees "no fundamental positive catalysts in the near term, and we maintain our cautious stance". He gives it a sell rating with a price target of 65p.

The recruitment firm will update the market with a trading statement tomorrow, and analysts at Numis believe that at this stage "there is better value elsewhere in the sector".

Results/Updates: dotDigital, Utilitywise, May Gurney, XP Power.


The Swiss-based but Ukraine-focused miner Ferrexpo will reveal third-quarter production results midweek, with analysts expecting a flat and uneventful update. Last month Jefferies said it sees long-term value with near-term risks for Ferrexpo, "which should realise attractive returns even assuming normalised prices". Scribes at Numis expect its production to be flat and "low grade/high grade ratios to be maintained at previous levels".


From Kobo e-book readers and digital book stores to flogging bottles of water or giant bars of Dairy Milk for a £1 at train stations and airports, WH Smith's strategy appears to be paying off. It has confirmed that its full-year pre-tax profit will be at the top end of expectations, at more than £100m. The analyst John Stevenson at Peel Hunt said underlying cash generation remains strong at the newsagent-cum-bookstore, and earlier this summer confirmed a further £50m planned share buyback for next year.

Mr Stevenson gave a hold rating and a price target of 600p ahead of final results on Thursday.

Results/Updates: Air Partner, Ashmore, Burberry, e2v technologies, Greggs.


Travis Perkins, the builders' merchant and owner of the retail chain Wickes, will give an insight into its trading performance on Friday when it updates on its third-quarter results. Howard Seymour at Numis expects few surprises, with like-for-like sales in both the trade and retail areas likely to be flat due to the stagnant housing market. Mr Seymour reckons gross margins will still benefit from management actions and the "group is expected to maintain operational outperformance in its key markets".

Results/Updates: Computacenter, Hargreaves Lansdown, Travis Perkins.

Economics Diary


Lloyds employment confidence survey, Eurogroup meetings, German industrial production.


British Retail Consortium sales data for September, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors house price figures, industrial production figures and manufacturing output figures, National Institute of Social and Economic Research GDP estimate, trade balance, Ecofin meetings.


French industrial update, US 10-year bond auction, US Beige Book


ECB monthly bulletin, Bloomberg UK economic survey for October, US crude oil Inventories, US federal budget balance, US unemployment claims.


European Industrial Production, US consumer sentiment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
A poster by Durham Constabulary
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine