The business week ahead


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The Independent Online

Tesco is fast becoming the black sheep of the City and its chief executive, Philip Clarke, will have a tough job convincing investors things are moving in the right direction when the supermarket delivers full-year results on Wednesday.

The numbers should hold few surprises after updates in January and February – analysts are forecasting a 6 per cent fall in annual profits.

But the shares are trading near 10 year lows and, as Barclays’ James Anstead says, Mr Clarke will have to “convince the market that progress is being made with the core UK business and that this is resonating with customers”.

It’s a quiet start to the week on Monday, with half-year numbers from the animal feed-to-engineering group Carr’s Milling Industries and 2013 figures from the palm oil producer MP Evans.

Tuesday brings full-year figures from JD Sports and a trading statement from Debenhams. The struggling department store issued a post-Christmas profits warning and Andrew Wade at Numis thinks 2014 could mark the fourth year of consecutive earnings decline in the UK.

Investors will be looking for signs of growth in SABMiller’s emerging market operations when the Peroni and Fosters brewer releases a trading statement on Tuesday.

The generator-for-hire operator Aggreko will let investors know how 2014 has been going so far on Tuesday, and we’ll also see first-quarter updates from the recruiter Michael Page and car engineering group GKN, as well as production figures from the mining major Rio Tinto.

Come Wednesday, investors will be keen to hear incoming chief executive Christopher Bailey’s plans for Burberry when the luxury brand updates on first-quarter performance.

The Russian steel maker Evraz will also hand in numbers for the first three months of the year on Wednesday and the consumer goods major Reckitt Benckiser will issue a trading statement.

Before the City shuts down for the Easter holiday weekend, we’ll have trading updates on Thursday from the drinks giant Diageo, iron ore producer Ferrexpo and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.