Business Information Service: This week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: Lamont Holdings, the textile company that produced its interim figures on Black Wednesday and saw its shares go south, is expected to announce final profits of about pounds 6m against pounds 8.1m last time.

The new management at Mirror Group Newspapers will be unveiling final results, which the City expects will have fallen by about 55 per cent to pounds 26m from pounds 58.3m last year.

The main reason for the sharp decline is the increased interest charge reflecting the cost of financing the pension fund losses. MGN may pass on the final dividend.

Scottish Television is noted for winning its franchise for only pounds 2,000 per annum. After rigorous cost controls, a 35 per cent increase to pounds 11.6m in final pre-tax profits is predicted, together with a 20 per cent rise, to 9.6p, in the full year's dividend.

UK credit business in February is expected to have shown a rise of pounds 100m, despite comparison with strong January figures, when credit originated through credit cards, finance houses and building societies (but not for house purchases) rose by pounds 151m.

The 5.7 per cent jump in January's German manufacturing orders is not expected to be sustained in February. A decline of 2 per cent is anticipated.

TUESDAY: Analysts who have been trimming their forecasts for Tesco's finals have settled on a figure up by 7 per cent at about pounds 584m. They are looking for a 13 per cent increase to 7.1p in the net dividend.

Substantial losses are forecast at Torday & Carlisle, the engineering company, relating to the failure of the group to dispose of Oldham Signs, and the costs associated with the subsequent decision to reduce the size of the business.

Analysts expect that borrowings will have increased by about pounds 2.5m to pounds 9.5m in the year, reflecting gearing of around 95 per cent.

WEDNESDAY: Cash-and-carry outfit Nurdin & Peacock should bring in static final profits of pounds 28.4m, up by just 3 per cent, with a similar rise in the dividend to 5.8p.

Data for German unemployment in March is forecast to show another sharp rise of about 45,000 in the west. In the east, however, a fall of 20,000 is expected, against a decline of 13,000 in February.

THURSDAY: Investment income at Sun Alliance estimated at pounds 320m will be swallowed up by total underwriting losses of pounds 477m, analysts believe. A pre- tax loss of pounds 100m is expected, but shareholders' funds should end 1992 at about pounds 1.4bn, implying a solvency margin of 54 per cent. The net asset value would be 258p per share. Underwriting losses, which amounted to pounds 320m in 1991 should, however, ease losses of pounds 210m, evenly split between the first and second halves. There appears to be no prospect of a dividend increase in 1992 or 1993.

FRIDAY: Most markets will be closed for Good Friday, although Tokyo and Italy will continue to trade.

Results: NatWest Securities. Median economic forecasts: MMS International.

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