The Week Ahead: Investors hope for better outlook from banks

The banking sector is set to dominate the headlines again this week, with Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group due to report full-year results on Thursday and Friday respectively.

The main figures have been aired already: RBS posted a trading update in January, warning investors that it may end up with losses of as much as £28bn, while Lloyds, which issued an update this month, expects its HBOS unit to report a loss before tax of some £10bn. The Lloyds TSB division is expected to remain in the black, with £1.3bn in pre-tax profits.

With much of the bad news already priced into the respective share prices, outlook statements are likely to play a key role in shaping the market’s response.

Stephen Hester, the RBS chief executive, also promises to attract attention as investors seek clues about the thrust of cost-cutting initiatives and, in light of news that the bank is looking to sell certain Asian and American assets, about progress with disposals.

For Lloyds, UBS analysts expect the market to seek more clarity about the factors that drove the £7bn of impairments on the HBOS corporate book and the £4bn of writedowns attributed to “market dislocation”.

Looking ahead, the broker said: “The key question will be how the group intends to position itself in the gross mortgage market. Through a combination of its legacy book (around 10 per cent of the market), HBOS’s legacy book (around 23 per cent of the market) and access to maturing Northern Rock business (around 7 per cent), Lloyds Banking Group has access to about 40 per cent of the mortgage market.”

Today: Results/updates: Associated British Foods, Fresnillo, Bunzl.

Tomorrow: Evolution Securities is expecting news of robust profits from Ashmore, the investment manager, which is due to publish interim results. The outlook, according to the broker, “is less good” owing to weaker performance fees, lower average funds under management and more net outflows. Yet Evolution advises investors to look through the gloom, highlighting the strength of the company’s balance sheet and low fixed costs. “The broad uplands may not be close, but they are definitively sunlit,” the broker said.

Results/updates: Thomson Reuters, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Morgan Sindall, St James’s Place, Spectris, Redrow, Ashmore.

Wednesday: Results/updates: Cadbury, Logica, Bodycote, Barratt Developments, A&J Mucklow.

Thursday: National Express is due to post full-year results, and according to Citigroup, any news on current trading and the outlook for the business in Spain and in the UK is likely to be key in shaping the market’s reaction.

“We believe the National Express portfolio includes the potential for further efficiencies from closer integration and a differentiating ability to extract revenue synergies between units that offer substantial long-term upside,” the broker said in a recent preview note. “However, [the company] must first overcome major challenges, particularly in UK rail.”

Also on Thursday, UBS expects British Gas owner Centrica’s preliminary results to reveal £1.94bn in pre-tax profits, with 22.3p in earnings per share. “Customer numbers within the UK and US supply business will be an area of focus given the strong movement in commodity prices seen last year,” the broker said. “In addition, guidance [regarding] gas production for the coming year will be of interest.”

Results/updates: British American Tobacco, Trinity Mirror, Bluebay Asset Management, Capita, Hunting, Genus, Liberty International, Hays, Rank, BBA Aviation, Dunelm, Filtrona, Centrica, National Express, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Friday: There should few surprises in Hardy Underwriting’s final results, according to Numis Securities. The Lloyd’s of London insurer has already pointed to pre-tax profits of not less than £22m, and the broker expects news of one of the strongest performances in the sector.

“With 2008 numbers largely pre-reported, the trading outlook is likely to be the main area of focus,” Numis said, adding that the key question was “how much premium growth the current balance sheet can support before additional funds are needed”.

Also on Friday, the consulting group White Young Green is due to post interim results, with Panmure Gordon forecasting £7.2m in adjusted pre-tax profits, compared with the £9m reported last year. Earnings per share are predicted to fall by 29.5 per cent to 9.6p.

Results/updates: William Hill, Davis Service, Rightmove, Charter, Hardy Underwriting, Lloyds Banking Group.

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

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

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album