The Week Ahead: Hays sees no end to slow growth in private sector

The recruitment companies are in focus this week, with both Hays and Robert Walters releasing updates as fears continue over the state of the private sector market in the UK.

When Hays – which is set to comment on trading over the final quarter on Thursday – last updated the market back in April, it said private sector growth on these shores in the third quarter had fallen to 18 per cent, 9 per cent lower than in the previous three months. Recent comments from the group show it is not expecting the trend to be reversed soon, and this, combined with the public sector's weakness, means Collins Stewart believes growth in the UK will remain in negative territory.

Numis Securities' Steve Woolf is similarly downbeat, saying he "does not see any signs of improvement in the UK, with further public sector cuts likely in our view over the next 12 months". With Hays' international operations still driving growth, the analyst estimates its net fees will have risen 15 per cent from the same period the previous year, a small dip from the quarter before.

Robert Walters announces its interim management statement for the second quarter on Wednesday, and Collins Stewart notes that last year it "was ideally placed to take advantage of trends" in the sector thanks to its focus on the Asia-Pacific region and the banking and finance industry. However, the broker's analysts say the recent earthquake and tragedy in Japan is likely to have caused problems given that the country provides around 15 per cent of the group's gross profit.



Tomorrow

Persimmon continues the run of mid-season updates from the housebuilders on Tuesday, with Peel Hunt's Robin Hardy noting that 2011 has so far been "more positive than expected for [the] new build [market]". Persimmon's share price has certainly been one beneficiary, having risen more than 10 per cent since the start of the year, although there have been fears that the second quarter has not been as strong as the first for the sector.

Results/Updates: Persimmon, St Mowden and Tullow Oil.



Wednesday

Balfour Beatty is issuing a trading statement for the first six months on Wednesday, and Howard Seymour of Numis is expecting a brief update "which is likely to confirm recent trading in line with trends discussed at the time of full year results in March". The analyst says the "UK construction market is holding up", adding that the infrastructure services group believes "revenue declines as public sector cutbacks take place can be offset by cost savings".

Results/Updates: 3i, Balfour Beatty, Booker, easyJet, Ferrexpo and Robert Walters.



Thursday

2011 has been tough for Man Group, and the world's largest hedge fund manager has found its share price 25 per cent lower than at the turn of the year, but it benefited last month from its chief executive, Peter Clarke, announcing that its net inflows for the second quarter were already ahead of those for the previous three months.

The group releases a trading update on Thursday, and although Credit Suisse notes that the sector as a whole "continued to see strong inflows through April and May" despite volatile markets, it expects June to have been "more challenging". The broker's analysts claim that Man's flagship AHL fund benefits from choppy markets "given the liquidity, long-term track record and the more limited reliance on rising asset values than other hedge funds", but they still believe the group's assets under management will have dropped from $71bn (£44bn) at the end of May to $69.5bn, thanks in part to lower equity markets.

Babcock is expected to issue a trading statement alongside its AGM on Thursday, with JP Morgan Cazenove warning there "could be profit-taking if [it] does not excite the market". The broker is anticipating a possible update on the defence services group's contract pipeline, which in May had risen to £8.5bn from £7bn two months previously – a faster acceleration, according to JP Morgan's analysts, than any of its large peers in the outsourcing sector had achieved.

Thursday also sees WH Smith issue its interim management statement for the third quarter, and Citigroup is expecting the retailer to show "solid trading" in both its high street and its travel divisions. In the latter unit, Citi is predicting that its like-for-like sales will have fallen 3 per cent year-on-year, an improvement from a 5 per cent drop the previous quarter, while on the high streets it is expecting a 6 per cent decline.

Results/Updates: Babcock, Dunelm, Hays, Man Group and WH Smith.



Friday

Updates: SIG

ECONOMICS DIARY

Today

CIPS Construction PMI; eurozone PPI; Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence.



Tomorrow

CIPS Services PMI; eurozone retail sales; eurozone services PMI; US factory orders.



Wednesday

Car registrations; eurozone householdconsumption; Shop Price Index.



Thursday

Bank of England and ECB interest rate decision; Industrial production figures; NIESR monthly GDP estimates.



Friday

Producer prices data; US consumer credit; US non-farm payrolls data; US wholesale inventories.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent