Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY 17.5.93: A boozy start to the week, with Whitbread due to produce full year pre-tax profits of around pounds 223m, modestly up from last year's pounds 221m. The recession and the shake-up of the brewing industry have led most brokers to take an increasingly bearish stance towards the sector. Also due are interims from the unit trust group M&G.

TUESDAY 18.5.93: There is speculation that a rights issue will accompany British Airways' results, with the proceeds used to cut the airline's heavy borrowings. This year's pre-tax profits will be down to around pounds 195m, from last year's pounds 258m, but the theory is that shareholders will be prepared to put up cash on the basis that the current year's figures are looking healthier.

Drinks group Allied-Lyons is expected to produce full-year profits of pounds 607m ( pounds 599m), while retailer Marks & Spencer should raise profits from pounds 672m to pounds 725m, despite tough retailing conditions.

BOC, the chemicals group, should produce interim pre-tax profits of about pounds 183m ( pounds 162m), and conglomerate Hanson is expected to hold profits stable at pounds 486m ( pounds 488m).

A busy day for economic news, with industrial production expected to have fallen 1.8 per cent in March following a far stronger than expected manufacturing figure for February, the CBI's distributive trades survey for April, Q1 UK acquisitions and mergers statistics, and the latest Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.

WEDNESDAY 19.5.93: More drinks results, with interim figures from Bass likely to show profits slightly down from pounds 260m to pounds 256m as well as full-year profits from brewers Young & Co. Contract catering group Compass is due to produce interim profits of pounds 18.2m ( pounds 17m). Further falls in net asset value look certain at Land Securities, due to report full-year figures. Forecasts are for a drop from 555p a share to 447p. But dividend growth is expected.

Retail sales figures for April should throw some light on the recovery - a modest monthly pick up of 0.3 per cent is anticipated. But the public sector borrowing requirement for April, the first month of new financial year, will show a worsening deficit of around pounds 5bn.

THURSDAY 20.5.93: First-quarter profits from British Gas are expected to be around pounds 649m, little changed from pounds 658m last time.

A big surge in profits is likely, however, at retailer Storehouse, whose full-year profits are expected to rise from just under pounds 16m to pounds 45m.

A clutch of unemployment statistics should indicate whether the steep falls in February and March were merely an aberration. Forecasts are for a flat outturn. FRIDAY 21.5.93: April's retail price index will have benefited from the switch from poll tax to council tax, with headline annual inflation expected to drop back to 1.5 per cent.

Monetary aggregates and building societies figures for April are also due.

Results: NatWest Securities.

Median economic forecasts: MMS International

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