The Week Ahead: Regus set to meet first-half forecasts



All those new business start-ups that the Government keeps promoting need new homes, and the likes of Regus have been providing them with just that.

Serviced-office specialist Regus opened 100 new centres in the first quarter, including the 64 it had acquired through its purchase of MWB Business Exchange. Now investors and analysts want to hear how much all this expansion has cost.

Analysts at Oriel Securities think the “extra costs of growth” will be absorbed, and expect the company to say it will meet full-year guidance when it reveals half-year results today.

Panmure Gordon reckons Regus will deliver progress this year “despite taking some of the MWB costs above the line”.

Oriel anticipates progress in improving margins, and rates it a buy ahead of the results. Panmure also makes it a buy, and would like to know more about its plans for new centre openings in the second half.

Results/Updates: Antofagasta, British Polythene Industries, Bunzl, FBD, Kentz, Petrofac, Regus, UTV Media.


APR Energy’s raft of new contract wins may just keep investors happy even if its results could reveal a first-half loss.

Analysts at Numis predict it will reveal a small, first-half, pre-tax loss, but said earnings should be better than the same period last year.

Investec is even more optimistic about the temporary power group, and thinks it will meet expectations for 2013 figures. Investec also expects better guidance for the full year 2014. The stock looks on “the cheap side”, Investec claims.

Also reporting is online betting group 888 Holdings. Panmure Gordon’s analysts think the first-half results will be in line, but they expect to hear more about its plans for the US market re-entry in the third or fourth quarter in Nevada and New Jersey.

Results/Updates: 888 Holdings, APR Energy, Chemring, Chime Communications, G4S, Grafton, Johnston Press, Kenmare Resources, Mattioli Woods, Paddy Power, Polymetal International, Randall & Quilter, Seadrill.


So could the merger of advertising giants Omnicom and Publicis mean that a spate of clients will jump ship to Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP, claiming conflicts?

Investors certainly hope so, but analysts at Numis think competition is hard, “particularly in media buying and digital”, so new clients do not come easily. Numis predicts that following organic revenue growth of 2.1 per cent in the first quarter, the half-year growth will come in at 2.4 per cent on Thursday.

Numis also notes that margins are ahead of budget so full-year forecasts could be adjusted upwards.

Results/Updates: Admiral, Aseana Properties, Bumi, Cape, Churchill China, Evraz, Hansteen, Hays, Hardy Oil & Gas, Hellermann Tyton, Hunting, International Public Partnerships, Irish Continental, Lombard Medical Technologies, Macfarlane, Melrose, Molins, Oxford Biomedica, Partnership Assurance, Petropavlovsk, Playtech, Salamander Energy, Serco, Soco, Unite, Vislknk, WPP, Xaar.


During May and June, we went to the cinema a bit more than earlier in the year, and this could have helped Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Garfunkel’s owner The Restaurant Group.

The mid-cap food group’s outlets are mainly on retail parks close to cinemas and Numis analysts expect that comparable sales for the first half will be up by around 5 per cent.

But the good news ends there. The analysts think subsequent trading will have slowed because of “unfavourable warm weather”, and the chain could begin to be hit by “Cineworld and Odeon opening their own restaurants”, and the growing competition from pub operators such as Greene King, Marston’s and Mitchells & Butlers.

Numis recommends “taking profits into these results” ahead of a tougher second half.

Results/Updates: Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Computacenter,  Charles Taylor, Chesnara, Frontline, Goldenport, Headlam, Haynes Publishing, Lavendon, Marshalls, Perform, Polyus Gold International, Restaurant Group, Shaft Sinkers, Stagecoach, Tyman.

Economics Diary


US consumer confidence index.


UK CBI reported sales, EU GfK German consumer climate, EU M3 money supply, US pending home sales, crude oil inventories.


US GDP figures, US unemployment claims.


UK net lending, EU KOF economic barometer, EU unemployment rate, US personal spending data.