The Week Ahead: Carpetright's suffering is likely to continue in 2012


It is fair to say that 2011 has been a year to forget for Carpetright. One of the retailers worst hit by the pressures on the high street, a string of profits warnings has seen the share price of Britain's biggest floor coverings retailer almost halve since January. Judging by comments in the City, it doesn't exactly look as if things are going to get much better when Carpetright announces its interim results tomorrow. Analysts at Singer Capital Markets expect it to "report its worst first-half figures as a listed company", forecasting a pre-tax profit for the period of £1.2m – almost a tenth of what it managed the previous year. The UK will be the culprit, they say, with a 3 per cent drop in like-for-like sales alongside a steep fall in margins after efforts to revive the business.

James Dilks-Hopper at Numis Securities is hardly optimistic about what lies ahead for Carpetright. He worries that new initiatives – including the introduction of a new range of beds – "will not deliver the material improvements management expect" over the second-half of the year, while adding that the "almost ceaseless promotional activity could start to lose impact".

There is also the issue of the better durability of carpets made out of longer-lasting polypropylene fibre, with Mr Dilks-Hopper warning that this will reduce "the overall market size and [thwart] Carpetright's return to peak profitability levels".


Results and updates: None expected.


Its interim figures back in October came in ahead of the Square Mile's forecasts, so Whitbread will be hoping it can repeat the feat with its trading update tomorrow. However, Panmure Gordon's James Cooke warns that the multi-tasking leisure giant is likely to have seen "volatile" sales thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, and adds that a number of new Premier Inn and Costa Coffee openings – plus recent spending on advertising and refurbishments– means that "profit growth in the period will be limited".

Tomorrow also sees the spread-betting company IG Group release its half-year trading statement barely a fortnight since its last update. It pleased investors then by saying it was still enjoying a high level of client activity, and that it expected its revenues for the period to be above £193m. Since then, the company's share price has risen by more than 8 per cent, so it will be hoping this more detailed update can provide a further boost.

The computer chip maker Imagination Technologies will also unveil interim results tomorrow. Liberum Capital's Eoin Lambe believes the "risks are firmly to the downside", saying the fact that Imagination has "limited Android exposure, the fastest-growing segment of the smartphone market, [makes] a royalty beat unlikely". He is expecting sales for the period of £56.9m, resulting in a pre-tax profit of £12.8m.

Results and updates: Carpetright, Domino Printing Sciences, Go-Ahead, IG-Group, Imagination and Whitbread.


Three weeks after it was initially meant to release its preliminary figures, Thomas Cook finally wil unveil its delayed results on Wednesday in what is the troubled tour operator's last week on the FTSE 250 before it becomes a small-cap stock.

The figures are unlikely to be particularly cheery considering its recent admission that bookings fell 30 per cent in the wake of its cash crisis, although it predicts that full-year operating profit should still meet expectations despite the funding issues. Analysts, however, will be keen to hear more about the company's restructuring plan.

With less than a fortnight until Christmas, any signs of how trading has been on the high street will be seized upon when the fashion retailer SuperGroup issues its half-year results. Andrew Wade at Numis Securities wants to hear whether the firm's profits hit from its stock issues earlier in the year have moved from the £6m to £9m range previously announced.

Results and updates: Betfair, Supergroup and Thomas Cook.


Wood Group announces a pre-close trading statement on Thursday, although UBS predicts that the energy services group will reveal few changes to trading trends since its last update in October. The broker expects "activity levels in the engineering business to remain strong".

Results and updates: International Personal Finance, Serco, Sports Direct and Wood Group.


Results and updates: None expected.

Economics Diary

TODAY US federal budget balance.

TOMORROW Consumer price index; RICS house price balance; retail price index; US Federal Open Market Committee statement; US business inventories; US retail sales.

WEDNESDAY Average earnings index; claimant count change; US crude oil inventories; US import prices.

THURSDAY Consumer inflation expectations; retail sales; US current account statistics; US Empire State manufacturing index; US industrial production; US Philly Fed manufacturing index; US producer price indices; US unemployment claims.

FRIDAY US consumer price index

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor