Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
TODAY: The French referendum on the Maastricht treaty takes place, with the first indications of the results expected around 7pm.

In the US, the Group of Seven finance ministers will conclude their two-day meeting. Meanwhile, all EC finance ministers will be in attendance ahead of the World Bank and IMF meetings later in the week.

MONDAY: Final pre-tax profits from Bryant Group are forecast to be almost double at pounds 20m (pounds 10.3m) before provisions for the year to June.

Money broker and retail financial services group, MAI, is predicted to show a marginal 2.6 per cent growth in pre-tax profits to pounds 68m (pounds 66.3m) in the half-year to June.

TUESDAY: Annual pre-tax profits from Lloyd Thompson Group, the insurance and reinsurance broker, is forecast to make pounds 14m (pounds 11.3m) for the year to June.

Next, the clothing retailer, is expected to have made a recovery with pre-tax profits rising from pounds 200,000 to pounds 6m in the six months to July.

The sharp fall in demand for new houses is expected to batter Tarmac's results where pounds 15m pre-tax loss (profit pounds 18.2m) is likely.

Supermarket chain, Tesco, is forecast to maintain pre-tax profits growth with a rise from pounds 229.6m to pounds 246m in the six months to August.

UK trade and current account figures for August are expected to reveal a visible trade gap of pounds 1bn, against pounds 1.13bn and a current account deficit of pounds 800m, down from pounds 934m in July.

WEDNESDAY: Construction group Barratt Developments, is expected to have reversed taxable losses of pounds 105.9m into pre-tax profits of about pounds 10m in the year to June.

Regional aircraft problems and closures faced by British Aerospace are expected to give rise to a huge exceptional charge. Pre-tax losses of pounds 440m (profit pounds 86m) are forecast in the half-year to June.

An increase in banana volumes is likely to improve pre-tax profits at Geest from pounds 15.1m to pounds 16m in the six months to June.

German inflation figures may be released as early as today in the form of cost-of-living figures.

In Britain, second-quarter GDP figures are expected to show a fall of 0.1 per cent for the quarter and 0.5 per cent on year ago. Also in the UK, building society net new commitments for August are expected to fall from pounds 3.5bn in July to pounds 3.1bn.

THURSDAY: WM Morrison is predicted to achieve a 35 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 36.5m (pounds 27m) for the six months to August.

Home improvement products maker, Spring Ram is forecast to lift pre-tax profits to pounds 18.5m (pounds 16.3m) in the six months to June.

In the final year of its breakfast franchise, TV-am is expected to report a 57 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 10.5m (pounds 6.7m) in the first half.

Loss of advertising revenue is likely to hamper pre-tax profits growth at United Newspapers, which is forecast to make pounds 42m (pounds 38.6m) in the half-year to June.

Engineering group Vickers is expected to see pre-tax losses of pounds 6.5m (loss pounds 4.3m) in the six months to June.

Final second-quarter GDP figures in the US are expected to confirm the previous estimate of a 1.4 per cent annualised growth rate.

FRIDAY: Central Television is expected to boost pre-tax profits from pounds 3.4m to pounds 12.9m on a 10 per cent rise in turnover to pounds 153.1m for the half year to June.

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

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