The Week Ahead: Topps Tiles to reveal turnaround progress

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The Independent Online


The week doesn't start with a wealth of results, but shareholders in Booker will be gathering in London to vote on the cash-and-carry wholesaler's proposed acquisition of the struggling UK business of rival Makro. Judging by the market's reaction, investors are unlikely to put up much opposition – Booker's shares jumped 10 per cent in one session after the deal was announced in May.

Results/Updates: No major companies due to report.


Back in April Persimmon said it had started 2012 with a flourish, and the housebuilder looks set to release another upbeat statement on Tuesday when it announces its trading update. Panmure Gordon's scribblers believe the group will report "a good first-half performance", while they note that margins are likely to have seen an improvement thanks to the continuing benefits of cheaper land.

Software firm Anite will also be in the spotlight tomorrow with the announcement of its preliminary results. Analysts from Canaccord Genuity expect one of the subjects that bosses will focus on to be its handset business, saying they are looking for "a clear explanation of how and why the ... market will continue to grow into 2013 and beyond".

Results/Updates: Anite, N Brown, Persimmon, Real Good Food and St Modwen.


It has been not much more than a month since Topps Tiles' last update when they gave investors a pleasant surprise by revealing that, thanks partly to the gloomy weather, like-for-like sales over the previous seven weeks had jumped 4.5 per cent. The tile retailer has suffered during the economic downturn, but the City will be hoping that the announcement wasn't a one-off and that Wednesday's third-quarter statement will show that the turnaround has continued.

Numis Securities' Howard Seymour is expecting Carillion's second-quarter update to recognise the continuing challenges that the construction company is facing in the majority of its markets, although the analyst adds that these problems are largely accepted by the Square Mile.

Another in focus will be Tullow Oil. The explorer's update will, hopes Sheridan Admans from The Share Centre, bring further news on its operations in French Guiana, where it – together with Royal Dutch Shell and Total – has recently won drilling approval from the French government.

Results/Updates: Carillion, CSF Group, International Airlines Group, International Greetings, Taylor Wimpey, Topps Tiles and Tullow Oil.


Investors in Dunelm will be hoping that the furniture retailer's fourth-quarter figures on Thursday will see them sitting pretty. Although the UBS analyst Andrew Hughes is expecting the group to announce a drop in like-for-like sales of 2 per cent, he notes that this would still count as a good performance compared to its rivals.

Looking further ahead, Mr Hughes adds that "there is a good chance ... a further capital repayment" will be revealed with Dunelm's preliminary results in September.

Babcock International has been pretty bullish over the boost it expects to get from government cost-cutting, and Panmure Gordon's scribes predict that the defence services group's latest update will also be "confident". They believe it "will be looking hard at new opportunities", although they add that it "may be too early to provide an update on any potential acquisitions".

Results/Updates: Babcock International, Begbies Traynor, Dunelm, easyJet, NCC Group and Robert Walters.


While corporate updates are rather thin on the ground, the City will be on tenterhooks on Friday ahead of the closely watched non-farm payroll figures from the US. Last month, markets were knocked by the employment data showing that only 69,000 jobs were added in May, less than half the number that had been expected.

Results/Updates: No major companies due to report.

Economics Diary

Today Eurozone unemployment rate; Manufacturing purchasing managers' index; US construction spending; US ISM manufacturing purchasing managers' index.

Tomorrow Construction purchasing managers' index; Mortgage approvals figures; Net lending to individuals data; US factory orders.

Wednesday British Retail Consortium shop price index; Eurozone first-quarter GDP (third estimate); Eurozone retail sales; Eurozone services purchasing managers' index; Services purchasing managers' index; US markets closed for Independence Day.

Thursday Bank of England asset purchase facility; Bank of England interest rate announcement; European Central Bank press conference; US ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index; US unemployment claims.

Friday Producer price index; US non-farm payroll figures.