Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: Half-year figures from Tomkins are largely academic after the RHM bid, but analysts hope to see some signs of improvement in the US. Pre- tax profits are expected to rise to pounds 46-50m against pounds 43.7m in the equivalent period.

Ellis & Everard, the UK's only independent chemical distribution group, is expected to report interim pre-tax profits of pounds 6.5m-7m ( pounds 7.5m). It could report signs of a small recovery in US industrial activity.

Consumer credit in the UK is expected to have risen by pounds 50m in November. Although down on the pounds 76m registered the previous month, the figures would still indicate some return in consumer confidence.

In Germany, however, data for November retail sales are expected to show further signs of economic weakness. A deterioration in country's trade balance is expected, with forecasts of DM4.3bn ( pounds 1.7bn), down from DM5.5bn in October.

TUESDAY: The December producer prices index will provide the first of this week's indications for UK inflation. The input price index is expected to show further acceleration in the prices industry pays for fuel and raw materials following sterling's devaluation. The annual rate of increase is expected to have risen to 6 per cent in the year to December, from 4.1 per cent in the previous month.

WEDNESDAY: Gross margins will have come under pressure at Dixons Group, but analysts forecast that interim results will rise from pounds 13.3m to pounds 17m. Cash flow will be inflated by the Jayhold disposal and the Beaulieu refinancing. Trading over the Christmas period will have been boosted by Dixons' 30 per cent share in the sales of video games.

First Leisure is expected to have come through another year of recession unscathed. Analysts predict final pre-tax profits ahead by just pounds 600,000 at pounds 31m, but the company should be an early beneficiary of any upturn in consumer spending.

THURSDAY: Final figures from TSB should reveal a dramatic turnaround from the pounds 47m loss in 1991. Analysts are looking for pre-tax profits of around pounds 120m, as the bank turns the corner.

Securicor's 30 per cent stake in Cellnet will have made a big contribution to final pre-tax profits, which are expected to rise from pounds 33m to pounds 54m. But the management has concentrated on the performance of its parcels, communications and security arms.

Analysts are expecting a cut in final pre-tax profits at Rank Organisation, down to pounds 238m from pounds 250.5m last time. Rank, which has denied that its film division is for sale, should benefit from decreased interest rates on debts dating from its takeover of Mecca two years ago.

FRIDAY: The UK retail prices index should show the ex-mortgage interest payments figure steady at 3.6 per cent. The headline figure is likely to fall by 0.3 per cent month-on-month, against a drop of 0.2 per cent the previous month.

Results: County NatWest Woodmac. Median economic forecasts: MMS International.