The week ahead: Michael Page puts City jobs in focus

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The Independent Online


When last updating the City in July, Michael Page warned the financial jobs market – one of the recruiter's areas of speciality – was likely to be knocked by the scandals surrounding British banks. Since then both HSBC and Standard Chartered have been in the news for all the wrong reasons so, with the group announcing its interim results today, any comments on whether this has made conditions worse are likely to be interesting.

Results/Updates: Michael Page, Mitie and Petrofac.


Henderson unveils its interim figures on Tuesday, and having suffered net outflows of £857m from its funds during the first three months of the year, the scribblers at Shore Capital believe the fund manager could have seen a net drain over the second quarter as well.

They also predict the group will have managed a pre-tax profit for the first-half of £75.3m, more than £10m less than the same period a year ago, and warn they "harbour reticence going into the results".

Another updating the market is Irish building materials group CRH, and UBS are worried its interim results could disappoint. Analysts from the broker point out that while the evidence is that trading in North America was strong for the sector over the second-quarter, Europe has seen "very weak volume trends" – not good news for CRH given its exposure to the continent.

Results/Updates: Anglo Pacific, Centamin, CRH, Dragon Oil, EnQuest, Essar Energy, Henderson, JKX Oil & Gas, John Menzies, Mears, NWF, SDL, Standard Life, Tribal Group and United Drug.


Last month investors in Resolution were dismayed to learn Clive Cowdery's insurance conglomerate had cancelled a planned £250m handout, as bosses pinned the blame on the economic climate as well as the uncertainty around the sector. However, investors may have some reason to cheer on Wednesday when the group publishes its first-half numbers, with JP Morgan Cazenove's Ashik Musaddi expecting a 5 per cent increase in its interim dividend to 6.8p.

In terms of the figures, the analyst is predicting Resolution will have managed an operating profit for the six months of £173m which, discounting one-off gains, represents a slight improvement on the same period last year.

Results/Updates: Balfour Beatty, Capital & Regional, Eurasian Natural Resources, Interserve, Lookers, PPHE Hotel Group and Resolution.


Cineworld's figures for the first-half of the year should show a 10 per cent rise in pre-tax profits, according to Douglas Jack from Numis Securities, driven by box office revenues climbing 4.1 per cent.

More recently, the analyst believes trading will have suffered from the effects of the Olympics. However, he is not expecting to have to trim his forecasts for the full-year, pointing out that the cinema chain should get a benefit from a number of major titles soon to hit the screens including the latest James Bond film Skyfall and Twilight-finale Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

Results/Updates: BATM Advanced Communications, Cineworld, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Huntsworth, Micro Focus, PV Crystalox Solar, Talvivaara and Xaar.


The Square Mile should not be expecting Pennon's bosses to give out much information on Friday when the utility announces its second-quarter update, with Angelos Anastasiou, an analyst from Investec, noting their "comments tend to be relatively brief".

Its waste-management business Viridor was hit during the last financial year by falling recycled materials prices plus increasing bid costs, and Mr Anastasiou believes the latest news from the unit will "continue to reflect [these] trends", although he also expects Pennon's South West Water business to have continued "its strong performance".

Results/Updates: HiWave Technologies, Pennon and Rank Group.