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Business Analysis & Features

The Week Ahead: Results set to signal recovery at Reckitt


It is fair to say results from the consumer-goods sector have been mixed recently. Both US giant Procter & Gamble and France's Danone issued profit warnings in June, while last week Marmite owner Unilever's latest numbers came in better than expected.

Today it is the turn of Reckitt Benckiser, with the maker of Vanish and Dettol announcing its first-half figures. Bernstein's Andrew Wood is expecting the group's recent performance to be "reasonable, not excellent", but he points out that "this should still represent another step towards sustained recovery in performance."

Meanwhile, Panmure Gordon's analysts believe "the bears of Reckitt will be disappointed with the... results, with no profit warning or change of view", and predicted a 4 per cent rise in its like-for-like sales.

HSBC is also releasing its interim results, and UBS analyst Alastair Ryan is expecting a pre-tax profit for the first-half of the year of $11.9bn (£7.55bn). At the same time, the Square Mile will be eager to hear the latest from bosses on the money-laundering scandal.

Results/Updates: Fidessa, Gem Diamonds, Hiscox, HSBC, Keller, National Grid, Reckitt Benckiser and Ultra Electronics.


Last week Drax slumped 15 per cent in one session after the government finally announced its proposals for green-energy subsidies, with investors disappointed by the support for biomass.

However, the power-station operator responded by welcoming the proposals and saying plans to convert its plants to burn more of the eco-friendly fuel were still on track, so the market will be looking for further reassurance on Tuesday when it announces its half-year results.

Results/Updates: Allocate Software, BP, Brammer, Capital & Counties Properties, Creston, Devro, Dignity, Drax Group, Elementis, Fresnillo, Future, GKN, Greencore, Inchcape, Petra Diamonds, Polymetal International, Rotork, Tullett Prebon, Vedanta Resources, Weir Group, Wolfson Microelectronics and Xstrata.


The fact the sun has stayed away for much of the summer has not been good news for the clothing retailers, with shoppers unwilling to splash out on new wardrobes. On Wednesday, Next will reveal how much it has been knocked by the weather as Lord Wolfson's chain unveils its figures for the second quarter.

Analysts from Bernstein expect the company to announce that like-for-like retail sales dropped by 4 per cent over the period, although they do highlight recent industry data showing it has been outperforming its rivals on the high street.

Results/Updates: Antofagasta, Avocet Mining, Eurasian Natural Resources, F&C Asset Management, Filtrona, Jupiter Fund Management, Next, Rexam, Rightmove, Shire, Standard Chartered, StatPro, Taylor Wimpey, WS Atkins and Xchanging.


RSA announces its interim results on Thursday, and the insurer has already said it expects the UK's recent heavy rain and flooding to have cost it at least £50m. It also estimated losses from the Italian earthquakes earlier in the year will total £35m, and the two will combine to overshadow a "positive, underlying underwriting performance", according to JPMorgan Cazenove.

Results/Updates: 4imprint, Aggreko, BAE Systems, Hyder Consulting, Ladbrokes, Management Consulting Group, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Robert Walters, RPS, RSA Insurance, Schroders, Segro, Smith & Nephew, Spirent Communications, Thomas Cook and Trinity Mirror.


The recent run of updates from the banking sector comes to an end on Friday as Royal Bank of Scotland unveils its interim results. Oriel Securities' scribes are expecting the group to have managed an operating profit of £1,982m over the six months, hindered by a £979m loss from its remaining non-core businesses.

Results/Updates: Diploma, Inmarsat, International Consolidated Airlines, Novae, Rentokil Initial and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Economics diary

Today: CBI realised sales; Consumer credit data; Mortgage approvals.

Tomorrow: Eurozone CPI; Eurozone unemployment rate; US Chicago PMI; US consumer confidence data.

Wednesday: British Retail Consortium shop price index; Eurozone manufacturing PMI; Manufacturing PMI; US construction spending; US Federal Open Market Committee interest rate statement; US ISM manufacturing; US MBA mortgage approvals.

Thursday: Bank of England asset purchase facility; Bank of England interest rate announcement; Construction PMI; European Central Bank interest rate announcement and press conference; US factory orders; US unemployment claims.

Friday: Eurozone retail sales; Services PMI; US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI; US non-farm payroll figures.