The Week Ahead: Hopeful travellers lead the week's results
Monday 10 August 2009
The travel & leisure sector will be in focus in the days ahead, with both TUI Travel and Thomas Cook due to post updates this week.
TUI will go first, with third-quarter results on Wednesday. The numbers should give evidence of positive trends in pricing at the group's UK and continental European operations, according to UBS, owing to the discipline imposed by reductions in capacity throughout the market.
"We expect management to reiterate that they are on track to meet expectations for the full year," the broker said, adding that, beyond the numbers, it will be looking for guidance on the UK winter programme.
Any changes in management's views on next year are also likely to be of interest, according to Deutsche Bank. "On the positive side, the risks of a sharp rise in UK unemployment may have slightly reduced, and we would think that cost inflation is less of an issue," Deutsche said,
"On the negative side, we expect ongoing public concerns about swine flu will influence people's holiday decisions if the autumn does indeed see a rise" in the number of cases.
Thomas Cook will publish an interim management statement on Thursday. The key issue, according to Numis, will be guidance on bookings for the final quarter. "For the full year, we currently project earnings before interest and tax of £418m, which may require some slight downward revision to reflect recent currency movements. We also have some concerns that swine flu may have had some short term/exceptional impact on reported numbers," the broker said. Offsetting these concerns it is possible that late summer bookings in the UK may be seeing a beneficial impact from the downgraded summer weather forecast for the UK."
Today: Morgan Sindall's interims promise to meet expectations, according to Panmure Gordon, although the construction services group is likely to reiterate a cautious outlook. "As usual, the company released a fairly detailed first-half trading update in July. Overall trading was described as in line with expectations" the broker said,
"Fit-out markets remain tough; Construction's public sector focus has made it more resilient; Infrastructure is performing well; Affordable Housing is in line and Urban Regeneration is quiet."
Results/Updates: Harvey Nash and Morgan Sindall.
Tomorrow: International Power is due to post interim results and, thanks to the gas contract at the Saltend power station, UBS is looking forward to stronger-than-expected numbers from the UK: "Investor focus will be on the outlook for the full year," the broker said, adding that any comments on refinancing are also likely to be of interest ... International Power has £740m to refinance in the next two years, the majority of which is in 2010."
"Over the first half, [it] has removed all refinancing risk for the next three years, so the attention here is more on whether [it] will have to pay down debt to reduce leverage, or have excess cash to reinvest for growth." Also reporting tomorrow, Intercontinental Hotels is expected by Charles Stanley to post "a very weak set of interim results", reflecting tough conditions and high operational gearing.
"The focus will be on RevPAR [revenue per available room], and whether the performance has further deteriorated or improved on the first quarter," the broker said, forecasting a 14 per cent decline in the figure, in constant currency. "Growth in the number of rooms is central, but the rate is expected to have slowed, as the difficult environment has made it much harder to fund new hotel projects".
Results/Updates: Greggs, Collins Stewart, Friends Provident, Interserve, Intercontinental Hotels and International Power.
Wednesday: Results/Updates: Balfour Beatty, Micro Focus, TUI Travel and BHP Billiton.
Thursday: Tomkins is likely to report weak interims, say UBS, which cites the contraction in many of the group's end markets. The broker forecasts $2.274bn (£1.4bn) in sales, with organic growth down 16 per cent year on year. "Although reported numbers are likely to be uninspiring, we expect management to talk confidently on outlook with automotive markets likely to improve in the short term," UBS said. "Non-residential construction will be of interest too."
Results/Updates: Greencore, Tomkins, Thomas Cook and Prudential.
Friday: Results/Updates: Paypoint.
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