Market Report: How is Balfour Beatty's new man going to rescue the business?


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The Independent Online

How is Balfour Beatty’s new man going to rescue the business?

The infrastructure giant reports full-year results on Wednesday, following a dismal run that has included six profits warnings and two failed takeovers of the business.

A review of its troubled UK division was completed in January and the City is prepared for bleak figures. Numis predicts a £67m loss for the year. But what will capture attention is new chief executive Leo Quinn’s turnaround plans.

Brewin Dolphin’s Stephen Williams says the strategy will “likely take the form of both further contract provisioning and a cost reduction and investment programme to put the group back on to a solid footing”.

The week begins with annual results from Fevertree Drinks today, the tonic water maker’s first finals since listing in November. HydroDec and Egyptian gold miner Centamin also have full-year numbers, while Nanoco and YouGov have half-year numbers.

Online gaming group 888 has finals tomorrow. William Hill looked at buying the business but talks ended last month. Northland Partners is expecting 888 to reveal earnings of $94m and says: “If there are any surprises to look out for, it may be a bump to the final dividend.”

Irn Bru-maker AG Barr, Faroe Petroleum, Gulf Marine Services and Spire Healthcare also have annual results tomorrow, while Wolseley has a six-monthly update.

In economic news, shopping baskets are expected to edge closer to deflation, with Credit Suisse predicting the latest consumer price index reading will show growth of just 0.1 per cent.

Alliance Pharma, Anglo Pacific, Card Factory, Chime Communications, Hilton Food, John Laing, Johnston Press and Powerflute all have finals on Wednesday. Housebuilder Bellway has an update, with Numis expecting a “robust” update, with accelerating double-digit growth in margins and order book. African oil and gas explorer BowLeven has half-year numbers, Henry Boot has annual results on Thursday.

Half-year results are due from Imperial Innovations on Friday.