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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
people70-year-old was most famous for 'You are So Beautiful'
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
The US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'