The Week Ahead: City gets set to check out Tesco's plans for revival


Investors were not happy with APR Energy when it announced in March it was delaying its maiden full-year results until today, with the stock slumping by a fifth in just one session. The temporary power firm – which last year was reversed into Pizza Express founder Hugh Osmond's investment vehicle Horizon – blamed its tardiness on the numbers being too complicated, although it did announce a summary of the figures.

These showed a disappointingly low order intake over the first three months of the financial year, and therefore Peel Hunt believes the focus this time will be on APR's outlook statement, with the broker looking for any news of further contract wins.

Results/Updates: Amec, APR Energy, AVEVA, DDD Group, Dragon Oil, Gem Diamonds and Pace.


Marks & Spencer is announcing its numbers for the fourth-quarter on Tuesday, and Panmure Gordon's Jean Roche is more optimistic than most, predicting a 0.6 per cent and 2.3 per cent growth in like-for-like sales from its UK general merchandise and food operations respectively.

The analyst is expecting international revenues to have risen 9.9 per cent over the period, although she admits this "may prove too ambitious". She also warns that any disappointment regarding its gross margins in this country "will get a very unsympathetic reception".

Meanwhile, Investec believes much more important to the City than the figures will be M&S's first forecasts for the current financial year, which the broker says should include comments on space growth and operating costs.

At the slightly higher end of the retail sector, Burberry will be revealing numbers for the same period. Barclays Capital is predicting the luxury brand will have seen a 24 per cent organic growth in retail sales, while adding that the group tends to use its fourth-quarter results to announce retail space growth expectations for the financial year ahead.

Results/Updates: Burberry, DMGT, Marks & Spencer, MP Evans, Northbridge Industrial Services, Rio Tinto, UK Coal and Walker Greenbank.


All eyes will be on Phil Clarke on Wednesday as, at the same time as the supermarket's final results, the Tesco boss will announce the outcome of the major strategic review launched following January's shock profits warning. Part of the revival strategy will involve putting all new plans for large stores on hold, while it is also expected to go up against Amazon by launching a new online site.

Berenberg's Niamh McSherry is predicting a focus on investing in staff and service levels as well as its own-brand products. Saying it offers management "the first opportunity to rebuild investor confidence", she does not believe targets set will be incredibly ambitious.

Meanwhile, in terms of the numbers, joint house broker Nomura expects the group to reveal UK trading profits have dropped 2 per cent over the year to £2.47bn, which would be the first decline in this country for at least 20 years.

Results/Updates: BHP Billiton, Bunzl, Computacenter, Dialight, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Fresnillo, GKN, Hunting,, Speedy Hire, Spirit Pub Company and Tesco.


Following department store rival M&S's results earlier in the week, it is Debenham's turn on Thursday to update the market. With the retailer already having said that underlying sales over the first half increased by 0.3 per cent, Deutsche Bank believes it will confirm a "strong" performance for the period.

Results/Updates: Debenhams, E2V Technologies, Hammerson, Hargreaves Lansdown, Hydrodec, International Power, Jupiter Fund Management, Ladbrokes, Lavendon, Persimmon, Randall & Quilter, SABMiller and WH Smith.


Any punters who have a flutter on William Hill will be eager to hear from the high street bookie on Friday when it announces its first-quarter results. Deutsche Bank is expecting a "strong update", predicting a 3 per cent jump in UK net revenues and a 23 per cent increase from its online operations.

Results/Updates: African Barrick Gold, Ferrexpo, IMI, Record, Rotork, Spectris and William Hill.

Economics Diary

TODAY US business inventories; US Empire State manufacturing survey; US retail sales data.

TOMORROW Consumer price index; Eurozone consumer price index; Eurozone ZEW economic sentiment survey; Retail price index; US building permits; US housing starts; US industrial production.

WEDNESDAY Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee minutes; Claimant count change; Unemployment rate.

THURSDAY G20 meeting of finance ministers begins; US existing home sales; US Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index; US unemployment claims.

FRIDAY IMF/World Bank spring meetings begin.

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