Business Information Service: This week

Click to follow
The Independent Online
MONDAY: Interims at Dalgety are set for a 4 per cent rise to about pounds 56m, largely thanks to a better performance from consumer foods. Although most of Dalgety's markets are under pressure, management is expected to show its confidence in the medium term, with the interim dividend nudged ahead to 7.6p (7.5p).

TUESDAY: Forecasts of third- quarter figures from British Airways range from a pounds 20m profit to a pounds 20m loss. A more reasonable figure is around a pounds 4m profit, still a steep drop on pounds 100m last time. The figures will show the first consolidation of Dan-Air, estimated to be a loss of about pounds 22m. BA's business should pick up swiftly in 1994.

First-quarter figures from Hanson will suffer slightly, but the company should be bullish about US trading. A 3 per cent drop in pre-tax numbers to pounds 220m ( pounds 226m) will be blamed on reduced interest rate returns on Hanson's pounds 3.1bn cash pile and on the housing market. The second-quarter dividend will be announced with these results, and 2.85p is expected.

UK industrial production figures will show that manufacturing output in December declined by about 0.1 per cent on last year. A small pick-up in non-oil energy output may help overall industrial production up about 0.2 per cent. Steel production fell sharply in December, but this will have been offset by a pick-up in vehicle production. December oil output fell slightly on November, but is unchanged on a year ago.

Public sector borrowing figures will show recession still biting. January is a key month for tax receipts, but last month's data may see only a modest debt repayment of pounds 500m, against pounds 3.8bn last year. Excluding privatisation proceeds, the PSBR in the first nine months is running at pounds 32bn.

WEDNESDAY: Anecdotal evidence that high-street spending perked up in January should be confirmed in retail sales figures up by about 1 per cent, against a 0.7 per cent fall in December.

THURSDAY: Lengthening jobless queues continue to cast a shadow across hopes of economic recovery, and January's figure is forecast to top 3 million. Earnings and unit wage cost growth are expected to be unchanged in December.

Interim figures of about pounds 785m ( pounds 709m) from Glaxo will hold no surprises. More crucial to the share price will be any comments on the toughening trading environment and on Glaxo's move into the over-the- counter medicines market. The interim dividend should be edged up 1p to 7p.

Final pre-tax profits at the merchant bank Kleinwort Benson are forecast to rise 23 per cent to pounds 34.3m, thanks to recovery in the group's core banking business where bad debts fell to around pounds 7m ( pounds 39m). The dividend should be held at 16p.

FRIDAY: A respite in the current round of heavy reporting with finals from Capita Group and Low and Bonar, and interims from Ashtead.

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

Comments