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Business Analysis & Features

The Week Ahead: Deutsche Bank experts sum up the year as one with ‘many successes’


The weather isn’t good enough for ice-cream but Ben & Jerry’s and Wall’s owner Unilever is expected to have still managed to sell enough soap, soup and other household wares to keep its full-year results tomorrow from looking too icy.

Its third-quarter update shocked investors as it revealed that a slowdown in emerging markets was proving tougher than expected. But analysts think the fourth quarter may have improved.

Deutsche Bank experts sum up the year as one with “many successes”. They forecast full-year comparable sales up 4.3 per cent and said its “well-invested”, “well-diversified” and “better-managed” stable of brands have kept it from suffering bigger problems.

Jefferies’ scribblers expect total 2013 revenues to fall 2.9 per cent due to currency headwinds, but expect it to be able to adjust to slower growth.

Also tomorrow, fellow consumer goods group PZ Cussons will reveal its half-year results. Canaccord Genuity predicts that its update should be passable.

Its business in Nigeria is rebounding off an “exceptionally weak period”, they say, and the macro environment is improving. The UK market has stabilised and “consumption patterns have improved”. Canaccord forecasts that the soapmaker is expected to outperform its sector peers.

The consumer goods groups are joined by the mobile phones specialist Carphone Warehouse. The retailer is expected to produce negative comparable sales growth in its third-quarter tomorrow.

But Numis’s analysts forecast that management’s full-year guidance on CPW Europe earnings to come in between £140m and £160m should “remain intact”.

By the end of the week investors will be ready to take delivery of Royal Mail’s trading update on Friday. The group’s share price has jumped some 83 per cent since it listed last October.

Analysts at Espirito Santo were happy with its news of planned price increases for corporate mail and think it will continue to perform well. They rated it a buy with a 635p price target. Analysts at Shore Capital agree.