The Week Ahead: Can M&S spearhead a high-street revival?

Hopes are running high ahead of Marks & Spencer's second-quarter trading statement this week, though some in the City are wary of the impact of the post-emergency Budget weakness in consumer confidence.

JP Morgan said recent clothing data from the BRC and the CBI, coupled with what it termed "generally good" M&S-specific industry data, "had led to the conclusion that M&S is probably outperforming peers in terms of trading". Tougher comparatives and signs of slackening consumer confidence could well weigh on the performance, however, with both UBS and Execution Noble anticipating some slowdown in general merchandise trading.

On the plus side, though, the shares are likely to remain on a firm footing. JP Morgan reckons that, "in the absence of a disappointment in trading" this week, sentiment is likely to be driven by hopes for positive news when M&S issues its strategy update in November, paving the way for strength in coming weeks.

Today: results/updates: none.



Tomorrow

UBS is anticipating news of a 9.1 per cent rise in year on year trading profits when the supermarket giant Tesco issues half yearly figures tomorrow. Divisionally, the broker expects the UK retail division to grow earnings before interest and tax by around 5 per cent, while Tesco Bank is forecast to reveal flat profits as increased costs in preparation for new product launches are likely to have offset any organic growth in the business.

The post-results analyst meeting promises to feature Phil Clarke, who will replace Sir Terry Leahy as chief executive next year. "He is well known to investors and is highly unlikely to signal any change to the strategic course of the business at this juncture," UBS said.

The printing group St Ives will publish its annual figures tomorrow and Numis expects the company to book "good progress" in the year to July. The second half is likely to have been strong; the broker is forecasting a moderation in the decline in sales, with revenues expected to have been flat over the fourth quarter. Elsewhere, given management's steps to improve the company's operational performance, Numis expects margins to rise to 4.4 per cent from the 2.6 per cent level seen last year. "We believe the management team has significantly improved the financial outlook for the group," the broker said in a preview note issued last week.

Also tomorrow, the veterinary services group CVS is due to issue full year results. Panmure Gordon expects to hear of £8.3m in pre-tax profits, slightly below the £8.4m delivered year, and at the bottom end of market forecasts of between £8.3m to £9.2m. Beyond the headline figures, Panmure said it was hoping to get "some further colour" behind the company's profit warning in June, and on how business had held up in the following months.

Results/updates: St Ives, Northern Foods, CVS and Tesco.



Wednesday

Results/updates: Sportingbet , Marston's, J Sainsbury, Dunelm and Greggs.



Thursday

The recruitment group Hays is due to issue a trading statement for the three months to the end of September later this week and ahead of the update, Numis is pinning its hopes on evidence of further momentum in the private sector and overseas businesses.

Strength in those parts should help offset the weakness seen in the UK public sector, the broker said, expecting Asia Pacific "to provide the highest growth rate", driven by Australia and New Zealand. "The downside risk continues to lie with the UK public sector," Numis said, noting that public sector net fees were down around 30 per cent in the final quarter of last year.

Numis also weighed in on sector peer Michael Page, which is due to post its third quarter trading statement on Thursday. The broker said that while year on year on comparatives are tougher, it still expected the company to report improving momentum in net fees, adding: "We expect Asia and the US to lead the growth, but also believe the UK will see improvements relative to the second quarter's flat year on year position."

Beyond the recruiters, Thursday will also see the release of a trading statement from Halfords, the retailer which issued a disappointing first quarter trading update back in the summer. UBS has pencilled in a 1.1 per cent decline for first half like-for-like sales, implying second quarter growth of 0.4 per cent.

Though mindful of the possibility of downside risks – UBS highlighted recent reports of disruption in the supply chain – it reckons that Halfords should be able to "offset any top line disappointment with cost savings, £4m of which are expected to be delivered this year as a result of the distribution chain reorganisation".

"We do no expect any change to company guidance for 2011 pre-tax profits in the range of £135-137m," the broker said.

Results/updates: Rank, Halfords, Hays, Michael Page International, Victrex and Marks & Spencer.



Friday

Results/updates: none. Other – John Lewis weekly sales data.

Today

Purchasing Managers Index – construction



Tomorrow

Purchasing Managers Index – services

Thursday

NIESR GDP estimates

Bank of England interest-rate decision



Friday

Producer Price Index

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
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'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
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