The Week Ahead: G4S back in spotlight after Games stumble


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The Independent Online


G4S is struggling to recover from its Olympic security fiasco and its under-pressure chief executive, Nick Buckles, will be back in the spotlight today. Analysts at Numis Securities, in what amounts to understatement, warn that G4S's half-year results will be "overshadowed by the impact of the Olympic problem", but they think the world's largest security firm could still be attractive for long-term investors, because of "significant growth potential from developing market operations which are currently 30 per cent of revenue". Half-year earnings of £240m are expected.

The FTSE 250 chemicals maker Yule Catto updated on trading last week – its first since its profits warning at the end of June – and shares fell on the news. The group, which reports first-half results today, has been hit by a slump in demand for nitrile latex, used in surgical gloves, putting pressure on pricing. Peel Hunt expects half-year sales of £636m and profit before tax of £55m. The Peel Hunt analyst Thomas Rands said: "If the nitrile pricing environment in Asia continues to worsen in the second half we see scope for full-year 2012 profit before tax to fall towards £90m. Strengthening euro headwinds could knock off another £1m."

Results/Updates: Bunzl, British Polythene Industries, Cairn Energy, John Laing, UTV, Lamprell, Regus, Raven Russia.


Last week JP Morgan Cazenove upgraded Antofagasta from neutral to overweight and raised its target price from 1,220p to 1,300p. The miner's half-year results are expected to be broadly stable. Scribes at UBS believe copper prices will have boosted the firm, but estimates net earnings to be down 10 per cent year-on-year at $624m (£395m).

The City is betting on another set of strong results from the betting firm Paddy Power. Peel Hunt expects profit of €67m (£53m), up nearly 20 per cent on the previous year, with Australia and the online business likely to be the main drivers.

Results/Updates: Mattioli Woods, 888 Holdings, Ant, Antofagasta, Ark Therapeutics, Chime Communications, Corin, D'Amico Group, DRS Data and Research Services, Grafton, Hansteen Holdings, Paddy Power, Serco, Servicepower Technologies, DP World, IQE, Serco.


It has been a busy first half for the media group Perform with two major acquisitions and a raft of sport rights renewals under its belt. Credit Suisse raised its price target to 435p from 390p last week. Peel Hunt has issued a buy rating at the same price, and the analyst Patrick Yau predicts that its core betting content business will report revenue growth from £29.6m to around £35m.The City expects a solid first half and further expansion into the second half.

The recruiter Hays has been hit by the lack of job opportunities in financial services and has been slashing costs in the UK to offset fee pressure. The UBS analyst William Vanderpump said: "We expect management in the UK to outline initial thoughts and plans on a three to six months view." Scribes at Peel Hunt expect a profit before tax close to £119.3m when it reports its full-year results. Peel Hunt's Henry Carver said: "We believe the recruiters should be valued according to the likely rate and timing of recovery, which is looking lacklustre at best – and we see no fundamental catalysts in the near term. We maintain our cautious stance."

Results/Updates: Admiral Group, APR Energy, Archipelago Resources, Cape, Churchill China, Evraz, Hardy Oil & Gas, Hunting, Integra, International Public Partnerships, Irish Continental Group, Kentz Corporation, Lombard Medical Technologies, Macfarlane Group, Marshalls, Melrose, HR Owen, Playtech, Polymetal International, Salamander Energy, Unite, Vislink, WPP.


Hermès, purveyor of silk scarves and leather handbags, will update the market with its first-half results on Friday. The Paris-based fashion house is a relative newcomer to China and has therefore seen growth in the region, unlike luxury peers who have begun to see a slowdown. It revealed its second-quarter sales last month which had rocketed 21.9 per cent to €815m. UBS expects earnings of €511m for the half year.

Results/Updates:, Charles Taylor, Chesnara, Computacenter, EMIS, Headlam, Independent News & Media, Lavendon Group, Molins, Oxford Biomedica, Restaurant Group.

Economics diary


Nationwide house price index.


US second-quarter gross domestic product data and Beige Book, quarterly report on the state of the US economy.


Net consumer credit, mortgage approvals, M4 money supply.


August's GfK consumer confidence, US consumer sentiment and July US factory orders.