The week ahead
Monday 11 March 1996
Fairey, the engineering and aerospace group, is expected to announce strong results for 1995, backed by its international businesses and a recovery in the electric power sector. NatWest expects a 32 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to about to pounds 34m.
Interims: Cortecs Intl, DCS Group, Domestic & General, Redrow, Kleinwort Dev Fund.
Finals: British Vita, DRS Data & Research, Fairey, Forward Technology, Hibernian, Hiscox Select Insurance, Laporte, Lopex, Merchants Trust, Partco, Pentland, Persimmon, Refuge, Roxboro, RPS Group, Rugby Group, Spandex, Spirax-Sarco, Suter.
AGMs: Ford Motor Company, Ovoca Resources.
EGMs: Secure Retirement.
A busy week for economic data kicks off with producer price figures for February and January's industrial output. Chancellor Kenneth Clarke said on Friday that these were behaving better than expected. Analysts have pencilled in a decline in the index of prices paid for fuel and materials, taking the year-on-year rate of increase below January's 3.7 per cent, and at most a small increase in prices charged at the factory gate, reducing their annual rate of inflation below January's 3.6 per cent.
The consensus is that industrial output was probably flat in January, with manufacturing output up slightly after December's shock fall. This would leave manufacturing production lower in the three months to January than the previous three, but most economists are optimistic that it will begin to recover.
US markets will focus on housebuilding figures for December and January, with any new data under close scrutiny after Friday's nosedive on Wall Street after the stunning employment report. Higher mortgage rates and bad weather are likely to mean weak figures.
TI Group is expected to announce solid results, with 1995 pre-tax profits forecast at between pounds 176m and pounds 182m, compared to pounds 153m last time. However, the good news is probably already reflected in the share price.
Prudential, Britain's biggest life insurer, is expected to announce operating profits of pounds 740m to pounds 780m, compared to pounds 693m last time.
Interims: Everest Foods, Headway, M&G Recovery Inv Trust, Thorntons.
Finals: Billam, Britton, Calderburn, Capital Corp, Christies Intl, CMG, Cordiant, Crestcare, Delta, Dunedin Income Growth, Expamet, Fidelity Japanese Values, Holliday Chemical, Huntingdon Int'l, Kalon, M&G Income Inv Trust, Pacific Assets Trust, Parity, Prudentia, TI Group, Williams Hldgs, Yorkshire- Tyne Tees.
AGMs: Euro Disney, Shani Group, Witan Investment.
Construction orders (January).
Reed International, in the spotlight last week after shelving its plans to sell its consumer books division, should encourage with robust pre- tax profits in 1995 of pounds 716m, ahead 18 per cent, according to NatWest. Attention will focus on signs that the company has identified an acquisition target in professional and electronic publishing.
Interims: Ricardo, Shire Pharmaceutical, Throgmorton Dual Trust.
Finals: Charles Baynes, BPP, Brent Int'l, Church & Co, English China Clays, Haden MacLellan, Heywood Williams, JIB Group, Lambert Howarth, Radius, Reed Int'l, Rosebys, Schroders, Tilbury Douglas, Waste Recycling.
AGMs: Gartmore British Income, London Scottish Bank.
EGMs London Scottish Bank.
Last month is expected to have seen the 30th decline in theunemployment count, although Deutsche Morgan Grenfell puts the expected fall at only 5,000 after January's drop of more than 29,000. The growth in underlying average earnings in January is likely to reflect the upward trend in basic pay settlements and bonuses.
A European Union conference on the single currency opens in London.
A chance to see the damage caused to Coats Viyella, Britain's largest textiles firm, by a hot summer and sluggish consumer confidence. Analysts expect pre-tax profits to fall to between pounds 142.5m and pounds 147.5m (pounds 152.4m last time).
Interims: BZW Endowment Fund, F&C High Income, Sirdar, Television Corp.
Finals: Anglo American Industrial, Biotrace Int'l, BTR, Coats Viyella, CU Environmental Trust, Davis Service, Emess, Exco, L&G, Mayflower, Micro Focus, MTL, Pittards, Reckitt & Colman, Steel Burrill Jones, United Biscuits, Watmoughs, A Wood & Son.
AGMs: Loades, Lookers.
EGMs: Bolton Group, MTM.
US factory gate prices point to further moderation of inflationary pressures.
Aspen Communications, the media group, is expected to announce pre-tax profits of pounds 3.8m, up 65 per cent, according to NatWest. Margins have probably improved even in printing and publishing, where the cost of paper is expected to have had an impact.
Finals: Aspen Communications, British Data Mngmt, Molins, Wembley
AGMs: Alexanders Holdings, Central Motor Auctions, Eurocamp, Johnson Fry Second Utilities Trust, Perry, Pohang Iron & Steel, Serif, T Walker.
Further key February figures for the US economy could trigger a reaction in Treasury bonds and shares. Consumer prices are likely to show a smaller increase than January's 0.4 per cent, leaving consumer price inflation unchanged at 2.7 per cent.
Industrial output is expected to rebound by about 0.5 per cent after a sharp drop in January. But markets are watching out for a bigger increase - mirroring the surprise rise in the number of new jobs revealed by last Friday's figures.
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