The Week Ahead: Housebuilders to reveal effect of slowdown

Turmoil in the financial markets and worries about a slowing economy have taken their toll on house builders, many of whom are due to publish their results this week. Last week, in a cautionary 16-page note, Dresdner Kleinwort said that updates are "expected to show the grim reality following builders' trading statements indicating it was too early to call the spring selling season", adding: "We reckon it will be dreadful."

Barratt Developments, which is due to publish its results mid-week, was singled out as the riskiest investment prospect. Dresdner chastised the company for "changing its business model to long land banking and move to 'more efficient gearing' at the worst possible time", and for overpaying for Wilson Bowden, the rival housebuilder which it acquired in April 2007. Dresdner predicts a freezing of the company's dividend for next year, "more", it said, "to symbolise the risk rather than a firm conviction that this will happen".



today: A mixed outlook is predicted for Hammerson, the commercial property developer. Its high-quality portfolio, which includes prime office space at 99 Bishopsgate and One London Wall, and its stake in the better-performing French market, are expected to offset any negative capital movements. That said, many in the market remain concerned about the company's net asset value, which is believed to have been affected by a more general decline in the value of commercialproperty. Forecasts vary, with some predicting a 9 per cent slump, whileothers foresee a sharper decline of up to 16 per cent.

Results/updates: Brammer, Robert Walters, Ultra Electronics, Hammerson, Minerva, Associated British Foods.



Tomorrow: Unlike Barratt Developments, Persimmon, the first housebuilder due to update the market this week, is expected to put on a satisfactory show. Dresdner, in its note last week, acknowledged as much, saying that the company was "widely revered as the best in class – and best equipped to withstand a downturn and emerge stronger".

Perhaps wary of deviating too far from its bearish theme, the bank did, however, warn that any "negative sentiments from management ... could take some of the shine off its premium rating".

The engineering group Bodycote International is forecast to reveal pre-tax profits of £81.8m, compared with £66.9m for 2006. Robust demand from aerospace, power generation and the European automotive sector is believed to have provided the impetus for growth in 2007.

Results/updates: Bodycote, Beazley, Persimmon, Inchcape, St James's Place, Standard Chartered, Hays.

Wednesday: HBOS, which is predicted to reveal an increase in full-year profits in its results, will be closely watched for its outlook on the year ahead: the combination of higher funding fees and a slowing property market are likely to bear heavily on the company's core mortgage lending operation.

Results/updates: Raymarine, Royal & SunAlliance, Old Mutual, Serco Group, Informa, HBOS, Barratt Developments, Kier Group, Ricardo, Serco.



Thursday: Since the onset of the credit crunch, and the consequent litany of writedowns at some of the world's best-known banks, the financial sector has given investors much cause for concern. On Thursday, when Royal of Bank of Scotland is due to update the market about the state of its business in 2007, the market will be watching with fingers firmly crossed. While RBS is expected to post a 9.5 per cent increase in full-year profits, following its December writedown of £1.25bn against debt-related investments, investors will be looking out for any new hits to the bank's balance sheet.

The paper and packaging group Mondi is due to publish its results, and analysts expect to see pre-tax profits of around £400m, up £95m compared with 2006.

Results/updates: British American Tobacco, National Express Group, Trinity Mirror, Royal Bank of Scotland, Rentokil Initial, Aviva, Mondi.



Friday: WPP, the global advertising and marketing conglomerate, is due to publish its full-year results at the end of this week. The group is believed to have benefited from a surge in contract wins in the final quarter of last year, and is expected to reveal organic revenue growth of around 5 per cent. Analysts expect total revenue to climb to around £6.1bn.

Beyond the numbers, investors will also be keen hear chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell's thoughts on the outlook for the advertising industry as it prepares to cope with a predicted slowdown in economic activity in Britain and America.

Rightmove, the property search website, is expected to reveal robust pre-tax profits of between £29.3m and £32.2m, well ahead of the £17.7m it earned in 2006.

Results/updates: United Business Media, WPP, Rightmove, Rank Group, MJ Gleeson.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

BC2

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Finance Officer

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education are seeking a Fi...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice