The Week Ahead: Bwin.party investors in no mood to celebrate

The August bank holiday means it is a shortened week for the City, with Bwin.party among the companies updating the market as it releases its first interim results on Wednesday since the completion of the merger between PartyGaming and Austria's Bwin in March.

Judging by its share price, the tie-up has hardly been welcomed by investors – the online gaming group has dropped by nearly 50 per cent since then. However, UBS believes the update could see it move even lower and the broker's analyst Simon Whittington is predicting a "lacklustre" set of figures.

Bwin.party received a boost in June from the news that one of its biggest rivals, Full Tilt Poker, had had its license suspended, but Mr Whittington – who is expecting total revenues for the first-half of the year of €425m (£375m) – says that although it will have picked up a "significant" amount of users as a result, "the cost of these players is likely to be high".

He instead believes the benefit will be seen over the rest of the year, when the analyst says the synergies from the merger will also begin to show. He predicts, therefore, that the company's "profits should be more second-half weighted than usual".

Panmure Gordon's analysts are slightly more bearish, expecting revenue for the period of €410m, but they still feel its stock deserves a "buy" rating, saying the upcoming €75m share buyback programme – announced back in June – "should act as a positive catalyst for the shares".



Today

Bovis Homes issued a trading update last month, in which it revealed it was on track to meet its targets for the year, so its interim results today are unlikely to contain many surprises. With Deutsche Bank's Glynis Johnson saying all the important figures have already been announced, the analyst will instead be focusing on comments regarding its recent trading as well as how it sees the state of the housing market in 2012. "The contribution of new land to future earnings momentum and to Bovis's ambition for its 100 active sites in 2013 ... should also be a key area of questioning," she adds.

Results/Updates: Afren, Bovis Homes, Computacenter, Lamprell, Perform and Regus.



Tomorrow

Bunzl announces its first-half figures on Wednesday, with JP Morgan Cazenove noting that "typically the stock rallies on the back of reassuring results ... and can then drift in between due to the lack of newsflow".

The broker feels the company's operations in the UK and Ireland hold the greatest risk of disappointing, citing "ongoing sluggish GDP data", but says there is certainly some possibility for its units elsewhere to offset this.

Results/Updates: Bunzl, Bwin.party and JKX Oil & Gas.



Thursday

It has been only a month since Spirit made its debut on the markets after being spun out of Punch Taverns, and today is its first opportunity to update the market as an independent. Spirit consists of Punch's managed pubs as well as more than 500 of its better-performing leased sites – the aim is to turn around 100 of the latter into the former, so any comments on this in its pre-close trading update will be interesting.

As for Spirit's full-year numbers, Shore Capital is expecting a £7m rise in profit-before-tax to £48m, noting that the group already revealed a 5.7 per cent increase in like-for-like sales over the 40 weeks up until the end of May.

Intriguingly, Punch – which has been relegated to the small-cap index – announces its full-year trading update on the same day, prompting some comparisons between the two.

Elsewhere in the leisure sector, Thursday also sees the Restaurant Group unveil its first-half figures. Numis Securities' Douglas Jack is expecting profit-before-tax for the period to climb 4 per cent to £25.4m, saying the company – whose brands include Frankie & Benny's – will have benefited from both a recovery in cinema attendance and a large increase in London airport footfall.

Another updating the market is Go-Ahead with its full-year results. In its pre-close update in June the transport company said it expected to beat expectations with its operating profit for the 12 months. Panmure Gordon's James Cooke believes profits from its bus operations to have increased by more than 10 per cent, while its rail unit will see an even larger jump of 20 per cent. The analyst warns, however, that the outlook statement is likely to be wary "to reflect the uncertain medium-term economic outlook."

Results/Updates: Go-Ahead, Hays, Punch Taverns, Spirit Pub Company and The Restaurant Group.



Friday

Results/Updates: No major companies due to report.

Economics Diary

Today

UK: no significant data due;

Minutes of US Federal Open Market Committee for the Augustdeliberations.



Tomorrow

UK: GfK consumer confidence barometer; US Chicago purchasing managers' index; US crude oil inventories; US factory orders.



Thursday

UK: Manufacturing purchasing managers' index for August; US ISM manufacturing purchasing managers' index; US monthly unemployment claims.



Friday

UK: Construction purchasing managers' index for August; US monthly non-farm payrolls data.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas