Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: The narrow money supply measure M0, largely cash in circulation, is likely to have grown by around 4.6 per cent in the year to February. This would be above the Treasury's 4 per cent target ceiling for the second successive month, suggesting a gradual rise in consumer spending.

TUESDAY: Abbey National's final pre-tax profits are set to fall by 8 per cent to pounds 570m, although high levels of cover should ensure a 9 per cent increase in the dividend to 11.4p. Bad debt provisions are forecast to rise from pounds 155m to pounds 298m.

General Accident's final losses are expected to fall to pounds 35m from pounds 172m, with fourth quarter profit of pounds 2m. Improvement in the UK has been spread over most lines.

Shareholders' funds are forecast at pounds 1.6bn at the 1992 year end, giving a net asset value of 421p per share.

UK official reserves are expected to be unchanged in February, compared with a pounds 38m rise in January, indicating some small support for the pound by the Bank of England.

WEDNESDAY: BICC's final results are forecast to be down by just 1 per cent at pounds 80m after exceptional costs of pounds 40m.

The second half at T Cowie will probably have been weaker than the first, when interim profits rose by 56 per cent. New car sales have risen but used car prices were very low in latter 1992. Analysts expect final profits up 26 per cent at pounds 23m.

German manufacturing orders are expected to remain weak. The market median points to a monthly decline of 1 per cent from 2.4 per cent the previous month.

THURSDAY: Barclays Bank is likely to report the weakest set of results from the High Street banks. A sharp fall in year-end profits, down by 86 per cent at pounds 75m, is forecast.

Provisions are predicted to have risen from pounds 1.06bn in the first half to pounds 1.12bn in the second. The bank will be providing pounds 240m against IMRY, and there had been no let-up in bad debts in the small and medium- size corporate sectors.

The dividend is likely to be maintained at 21.15p despite an earnings per share figure of 15.2p tumbling into a loss of 4.4p per share.

Ladbroke Group's results may be disappointing, with an expected 12 per cent downturn to pounds 147m in pre-tax profits despite the impact of the Gulf War on the previous results.

Williams Holdings' final pre-tax profits are expected to fall fractionally, by pounds 300,000 to pounds 155m. That figure excludes a pounds 6.1m exceptional credit stemming from the pounds 11.1m profit from the sale of the Racal stake, and a pounds 5m loss on the disposal of Spencer Clark.

Boddington Group, the pub operator that still owns nearly 20 per cent of rival Devenish after its abortive takeover bid in the summer of 1991, should bring in final profits ahead by 25 per cent at pounds 23.7m.

FRIDAY: No company announcements expected.

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

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