Business Information Service: This week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: A hike of 53 per cent to pounds 293m in final pre-tax profits is expected at BAA, which experienced traffic growth of 7.9 per cent in the year to March 1993 and where retail spend per passenger is starting to increase, if gently, for the first time in months.

Final profits at Emap, the publishing group, are forecast to rise by 53 per cent to pounds 41.6m on the back of a full-year contribution from the Maxwell business titles and the reduced interest payable after last year's rights issue. The consumer magazine division is expected to bring in operating profits up by more than 14 per cent.

The certainty of extensive provisions at PowerGen, from restructuring, laying off staff and the closure of plants, means that profit forecasts contain a wide margin of error. Full-year pre-tax figures of pounds 400m would mark a rise of 11 per cent.

Data for UK credit business in April will be scrutinised for any signs that borrowing is tapering off. The market expects a pounds 150m rise in the amount of credit outstanding, against a pounds 232m figure for March.

TUESDAY: Unigate is expected to turn in unchanged year-end profits of around pounds 92m, although this represents a pick-up in the second half. For the first time in three years, the City expects a modest increase, perhaps 3 per cent, in the final dividend of 15.8p.

Vodafone's profits continue to grow rapidly and it continues to generate cash. Final pre-tax profits should advance by 16 per cent to pounds 320m, a figure at the top end of market expectations. Shareholders can look forward to a 20 per cent rise in the dividend to 7p.

Figures for US wholesale trade are released. Also expected later in the week are figures for US weekly unemployment claims, US retail sales for May and US PPI data for May.

WEDNESDAY: Forecasts for Northern Foods' final profits range between pounds 150m and pounds 170m, up from pounds 126m in 1992. Profits will be flattered by a full year from Express/Eden Vale, although the effect of the shares issued to fund that acquisition will limit earnings growth to around 4 per cent. Underlying dairy profits are still expected to be ahead.

Racal Electronics' figures will be the first since the demerger of Chubb last September. Reduced exceptional items and interest should mean pre-tax profits of around pounds 50m for the year to end-March 1992. That compares with an underlying profit in 1991 of around pounds 16.1m after Chubb's security activities were stripped out.

THURSDAY: Pilkington's debt, more than pounds 835m at its March year-end (gearing of 67 per cent), will have risen above pounds 950m after the acquisition of Heywood Williams' merchanting operation. Pre-tax profits should fall by about 61 per cent to pounds 30m. In the UK, Pilkington just about broke even in 1992/3 after a better second half.

FRIDAY: No major results or economic statistics expected.

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

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