The Week Ahead: UBM set to return here as tax resident
Monday 26 November 2012
Investors in UBM, the owner of PR Newswire and publisher of trade magazines Building and Property Week, meet today to approve plans to bring the company's tax headquarters back to London. In 2008, UBM moved to Ireland becaue of what it considered was the UK's harsh tax regime. However, like Sir Martin Sorrell at advertising giant WPP, UBM boss David Levin has quickly reversed that decision as he was convinced the Government is becoming more business-friendly as it attempts to inspire economic growth. If the resolution is passed, UBM will once again be a UK tax resident from Friday.
Results/Updates: Aberdeen Asset Management, Cookson Group, Essar Energy, GB Group, Origin Enterprises, Quintain Estates and Development.
Britain's biggest mutual, the Nationwide Building Society reports its half year results tomorrow but all eyes will be on anything chief executive Graham Beale has to say about its interest in buying 318 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland. The branches (tagged Williams & Glynn) have approximately 240,000 small and medium-sized business customers which could give Nationwide a strong launchpad into this market where it has only just dipped its toe in the water. Underlying profits are likely to have shown modest growth on last year's first-half total of £172m as the housing market has yet to burst into life.
Results/Updates: Britvic, Caledonia Investments, Chemring, De La Rue, Findel, Greencore, Iomart, KCOM, Mitchells & Butlers, Nationwide, Scapa, Severn Trent and Topps Tiles.
Pity Harriet Green, the boss of travel agent Thomas Cook. The former Premier Farnell chief executive's first set of results in charge, out on Wednesday, should see profits slashed by half after an incredibly difficult year which raised severe doubts over the indebted group's future. Peel Hunt analyst Nicholas Batram is braced for underlying pre-tax profits of £154m for the year to September 30, only a touch more than 50 per cent of last year's £304m.
Mr Batram says: "Of much greater interest will be what [Green] has to say in terms of the turnaround strategy. The company has said that the results of a detailed strategic review will not be revealed until the spring but we do expect some colour." With around £2bn of operating overheads at the firm, the City reckons there's plenty of fat to be cut away.
Results/Updates: Advanced Computer Software, Assura, Creston, Daisy Group, GW Pharmaceuticals, Telfords Homes, Thomas Cook, United Utilities and VP.
Sebastian James, the chief executive of Dixons Retail, will be grilled by the City on Thursday about the impact on its Currys and PC World chains of the stock liquidation sale at failed rival Comet, over the crucial Christmas trading period. Nomura forecasts the pan-European group could eventually grab about £230m of Comet's annual sales of £1bn-plus, but the present clearance sale at the collapsed 236-store chain could hurt Dixons UK over the festive period.
The City expects Dixons to post a largely unchanged loss of £25m over the half year to 30 October, dragged down by dire trading in southern Europe.
Results/Updates: API Group, Dixons Retail, Hogg Robinson, Impax Asset Management, Kingfisher, Marston's, Mountview Estates, PayPoint, Pennon, Phoenix IT, RPC, Shaftesbury and WYG.
SThree, the recruitment group, has been suffering from the effect of nervous workers lingering in their jobs to ride out recession, so when it releases its trading update for the year to 25 November on Friday, investors will be keen to hear whether there's been any pick up in jobs churn.
Banks cutting thousands of jobs in the City have hit the firm, because just over a third of its business comes from the UK and Ireland. In the three months to August the recruiter said its UK profits were down 6 per cent on last year, and chief executive Russell Clements admitted this autumn that "there's a great reluctance for people to put themselves in the jobs market and create vacancies."
Results/Updates: Acal and SThree.
German and Italian consumer confidence data.
Business investment data, Third-quarter GDP (second estimate), US Beige Book, US consumer confidence data and US Richmond Fed manufacturing index.
Eurozone money supply data, ONS underemployed workers report and US new home sales.
Bank of England financial stability report, CBI distributive trades survey, Money supply data, Mortgage approvals, US initial jobless claims and US third-quarter GDP (second estimate).
Eurozone unemployment rate, GfK consumer confidence survey, US Chicago purchasing managers index, US personal income data and US personal spending data.
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