The Week Ahead: Analysts predict festive cheer at Morrisons

City analysts expect Morrisons to outshine its peers when the supermarket group provides an update on its performance over the festive season this week. The company is expected to say that, excluding fuel and VAT, sales at stores open at least a year climbed 6.3 per cent in the six-week period to 3 January, according to a Reuters poll of 10 analysts. The forecast is better than broadly comparable figures from Tesco and J Sainsbury, both of whom issued updates earlier this month.

Beyond the figures, the company is likely to be quizzed on who might replace Marc Bolland at the helm. Evolution, which expects the sales numbers to be "considerably higher than the sector average", said Morrisons' shares will be held back by uncertainty until the question of the new chief executive is resolved. "This may not matter long term but it is essential that sales momentum is retained," the broker said. "For this reason, we encourage a rapid conclusion to the chief executive search. With the strategy in place and good results coming through, the appointment should not be controversial."

Today: The house builder Taylor Wimpey is expected to speak of stabilising trends in the UK and the US when it issues a trading update this morning. "Taylor Wimpey's embedded land-bank margin should have benefited from cost savings, price inflation and re-planning of sites, which alongside a higher average sales price, could lead to small upgrades for 2010," Numis said in a preview note last week. The broker expects the market to focus on comments regarding the treatment of the unrecognised deferred tax assets, which it said amounted to around 23p per share, or 13p if the UK assets are considered in isolation.

Also today, the internet fashion retailer Asos is due to issue an update. FinnCap said the company should have performed well over the festive period, highlighting the news from Marks & Spencer, which recently said that its online sales advanced by 32 per cent in the 13 weeks to Boxing Day. John Lewis also enjoyed strong online demand over the Christmas period, the broker added.

Results/updates: Asos ; Taylor Wimpey.

Tomorrow: Numis expects a 38 per cent rise in revenues when Chemring, the military goods maker, issues preliminary results tomorrow. Revenues are forecast to swell to £489m, while pre-tax profits are expected to rise to £109.5m, up 48 per cent. The year-end debt figure is expected to come in at £124m – that does not factor in the acquisition of Hi Shear, which lifts Numis' 2010 net debt forecast to £150m.

Also tomorrow, hopes are running high ahead of Game Workshop's half yearly results. In a recent trading update, the company said that pre-tax profits for the year to the end of May were likely to be some £5m ahead of market hopes, prompting KBC Peel Hunt to switch its stance on the stock to "buy".

Results/updates: Alterian, IG Group, Land Securities, Games Workshop, Carphone Warehouse, Burberry.

Wednesday: Results/updates: Kesa Electricals, William Hill, Hochschild Mining, Great Portland Estates.

thursday: The condom maker SSL International is due to issue an update later this week, and UBS expects to hear of a 6.6 per cent rise in underlying sales at the company's Durex division, up from the 5.3 per cent growth reported for the first half.

Underlying sales at Scholl Footwear are forecast to be 5.3 per cent higher, while at Scholl Footcare they are expected to be up 2.1 per cent. "We expect guidance for the year will be at least in line with expectations, with possible upside risk from Russia," the broker said. "In the winter months, however, sales contributions from Russia are expected to fall given the seasonal impact of extreme cold weather."

Also on Thursday, BlueBay Asset Management is due to issue a trading update, and following the "very strong" first quarter, when assets under management jumped by 28 per cent to $31.1bn, Numis expects a less aggressive rise over the second quarter, with the figures forecast to rise by 6 per cent to $32.9bn at the end of the December.

"We continue to forecast the investment grade funds as being the principle driver of net inflows although [we] are expecting modest positive inflows from high yield funds," the broker said.

Results/updates: NCC, St. James's Place, United Utilities, BlueBay Asset Management, SSL International, WM Morrison Supermarkets.

friday: Results/updates: Close Brothers; Invensys.

Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary