Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
TUESDAY: From the US, the National Association of Purchasing Managers Index for August is expected to show a slight rise from 54.2 per cent in July to 54.5 per cent. Construction spending for July in the US is expected to show a rise of 1.5 per cent, compared with a fall of 1.5 per cent for June.

WEDNESDAY: The electronic safety systems maker Industrial Control Services Group, a newcomer to the stock market, is expected to produce profits of pounds 4.5m for the year to May.

The forecast of an dollars 800m fall in official reserves will reflect support for sterling by the Bank of England as the pound has sunk closer to its floor in the European exchange rate mechanism.

THURSDAY: A 5 per cent drop in pre- tax profits to pounds 485m is expected from the industrial holding company BTR when it announces its results for the half-year to June. The weaknesses in the Australian and US dollar are expected to have had a negative impact.

Half-year figures from Burmah Castrol, the lubricants, chemicals and gas supplier, are expected to have benefited from weak oil prices, which have kept raw material costs down. Pre-tax profits are forecast to climb from pounds 72.2m to pounds 81.5m.

Cookson Group, the industrial materials company, is expected to report pre-tax profits up from pounds 17m to pounds 34m for the half-year to June.

Pre-tax profits from Iceland are forecast to increase from pounds 20.3m to pounds 23.6m in the half-year to June, helped by rising sales.

Ladbroke Group, the leisure concern, is expected to show a 5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 102.9m for the half-year to June.

The foods group Reckitt & Colman is forecast to lift pre-tax profits to pounds 134m ( pounds 127.6m) in the half-year to June. Lower turnover due to disposals of loss-making businesses is likely.

Interim pre-tax profits from Rolls- Royce are expected to show a rise from pounds 11m to pounds 32m in the absence of exceptional costs.

Losses of pounds 134m ( pounds 114.1m) are expected from Sun Alliance for the half- year to June. The bulk of the losses are expected from underwriting.

T&N, the automotive components and engineering group, is set to gain from lower restructuring costs. Pre-tax profits are forecast to rise 60 per cent to pounds 32.5m in the half year to June.

Half-year pre-tax profits from Williams Holdings are expected to show little change at pounds 75m ( pounds 75.1m). A strong performance in the US is expected to offset continuing weakness in British DIY markets.

The housebuilder Wilson Bowden is expected to reveal a 35 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to pounds 10m for the half-year to June.

The German Bundesbank holds its regular council meeting. No change in policy or rates is expected.

German figures for gross national product for the second quarter are expected to show a reversal - a fall of 1 per cent against a rise of 1.8 per cent for the previous quarter.

Seasonal unemployment for western Germany is forecast to rise by 20,000 during August, compared with 18,000 in July.

FRIDAY: US employment figures for August are expected to show an increase in non-farm payrolls of 150,000, compared with last month's rise of 198,000. The unemployment rate is expected to be 7.6 per cent, compared with last month's 7.7 per cent.

German trade figures for July may be released. The trade balance is expected to remain unchanged at a surplus of DM2bn. The current account deficit is forecast to widen slightly from DM4.3bn in July to DM4.5bn.

Company results: County NatWest Woodmac. Median economic forecasts: MMS International.

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