The Week Ahead: Tesco’s half-year results are due out on Wednesday

Thursday is set to be the busiest day of the week

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The Independent Online

Tesco’s half-year results are due out on Wednesday and it has a hard act to follow after shares in rival Sainsbury’s soared 14 per cent in a day last week following a slight upgrade to its full-year profit forecast.

The Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis, will be keen to impress, especially with the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation still simmering in the background and margins under pressure from the German disruptors Aldi and Lidl. “Drastic Dave” has managed to offload the South Korea business but has plenty more work to do if the recent Kantar Worldpanel data is anything to go by: it showed that only Sainsbury’s has managed to grow sales, with Tesco down 1 per cent.

Staying with retail, the high-street bakery Greggs rolls out its third-quarter trading update tomorrow, having already raised its full-year guidance twice. With breakfast treats and healthier foods helping sales to sizzle in the first half of the year, the group’s pre-tax profits jumped 51 per cent to £25.6m; like-for-like sales were up 5.9 per cent.

Analysts at N+1 Singer said: “We firmly feel that Greggs’ business model is in great shape.” Amid the wider stock market malaise, shares in the baker are selling like hot cakes, up by 80 per cent in a year.

Also tomorrow half-year results are due from the dapper fashion retailer Ted Baker – another company whose shares have not been fazed by the recent market turmoil. It is up 50 per cent this year.

Thursday is set to be the busiest day of the week. Annual results are due from the sofa retailer DFS. A pre-close trading update in July revealed sales were up 7 per cent and it expects a record full-year performance.

Also scheduled is a first-quarter statement from recruiter Hays, which will show whether the big City companies kept recruiting throughout the recent stock market falls.

On the economic front, on Thursday the US Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its last meeting of policymakers – when it chose not to raise interest rates. That will come in the wake of hugely disappointing jobs data on Friday, which fuelled concerns that the US may not, after all, raise rates by the end of the year.

Tesco has offloaded its Korea business but has plenty more to do