With few economic statistics due out this week, the highlights will come on the corporate front. Pearson Group should kick off in style. After shedding its oil services and fine china divisions, it is expected to lift profits by 41 per cent to pounds 212m. Steel Burrill Jones will probably show the reverse trend, with a 40 per cent slump in profits after the loss of marine and reinsurance business.
The change at the top of Alexon has already produced a rescue rights issue. The fashion clothing group is now forecast to deliver a small fall in losses, to pounds 11.8m. Times have also been tough at Bardon, the aggregates group, which will probably see a 30 per cent fall in profits to pounds 13m. Better news is expected at Next, which should be up 93 per cent to pounds 70m, and Tibbett & Britten, the food distributor - up about 63 per cent to pounds 24m.
Despite a disappointing time in its food division Harrisons & Crosfield should see profits boosted by 16 per cent to pounds 95m for the year. Ocean Group will probably produce a more modest 9 per cent lift, while Hogg will almost halve profits after a flat performance in the US.
The UK Parliament will break for the Easter recess. Cold weather at the end of last year, combined with the falling oil price, should push net income at Calor Group up a hefty 63 per cent to pounds 33m. A strong portfolio and its geographic diversity are predicted to lift profits at Redland by 19 per cent to pounds 263m.
Sources: NatWest Securities, MMS InternationalReuse content