THE WEEK AHEAD

TODAY

Companies

The current strength of demand in the power supply market, in which Astec (BSR) is the world's largest manufacturer, should see the company post a healthy interim pre-tax profit. The company will benefit from its new management team - chief executive David Farr, who joined in August 1994, and finance director Michael Arrowsmith, who joined from Smithkline Beecham in June.

Analyst Andrew Bryant of NatWest Securities says PC volume growth, the shortage of semiconductors and the increasing trend towards outsourcing for standard power supplies could lead to a rise in interim pre-tax profit of around 28 per cent to pounds 9.5m. This translates into an earnings growth of 25 per cent and an increase in the dividend to 0.5p from 0.4p.

BI Technologies, the group's component manufacturing business, which was reorganised last year, is expected to contribute pounds 1.7m, up from pounds 1.4m previously.

Interims: Astec (BSR), Gartmore GN Great Nordic, Johnson Fry Holding, Parambe, Sanderson Bramall Motor.

Finals: Throgmorton 100 Small.

Annual meetings: Jurys Hotel Group, Learmonth & Buchett.

Economics

Japanese unemployment in July is expected to stay at 3.2 per cent. A study by Yamaichi Research Institute has assessed the real rate of unemployment as 6.3 per cent. In the US, new home sales are expected to fall to 705,000 from 728,000. Keep an eye out for the August consumer confidence index from the Conference Board. This is expected to remain about 99.9 in August after its sharp rise in July from 92.8 in June.

WEDNESDAY

Companies

Filtration manufacturer Domnick Hunter, is expected to post a 23-25 per cent increase in pre-tax profits of around pounds 2.6m on the back of improved overseas orders from the industrial division, although higher raw material prices may depress margins.

The new Tearn Valley factory should help the group to increase capacity and investment in the Process division in 1994 should help counter margin squeezes. The division reported a 23 per cent rise in 1994 sales. SNC sees scope for an EPS of 5.1, up 20 per cent, and a net dividend of 2p.

Interims: Charles Baynes, Burnfield, Domnick Hunter, Eclipse Blinds, Johnson Press, Irish Permanent, Nurdin & Peacock, Provident Financial, Psion, Serco Group, T&N, Topdanmark.

Finals: Stoves.

Annual meetings: Aberforth Split Level, Colourvision, Countyglen, Faupel Trading, Phonelink, St James Beach Hotels.

EGMs: Halkin Holdings.

Economics:

The US issues its first revision to real GDP in the second quarter. The consensus view is that it will continue to show an annualised growth rate of 0.5 per cent.

THURSDAY

Companies:

The market will be waiting to see if improvements from reorganisation and rationalisation will offset price pressure at Rolls-Royce, the aerospace and industrial power group, as it reports half-year results.

On the downside, an improved order book at the industrial power division is not yet expected to kick into the results while competition in the civil engine market is expected to hit the company hard.

Sandy Morris of NWS expects a lower R&D budget to boost pre-tax profits by 62 per cent to between pounds 40-pounds 65m, coupled with a pounds 6m maiden contribution from Allison. EPS of 2.5p, up 6.4 per cent, and a net dividend unchanged at 2p.

Interims: Beauford, Cairn Energy, Cattle's, EBC Group, EFT Group, Gibb & Dandy, Irish Continental Group, Ladbroke Group, Macfarlane Group (Clansman), Persimmon, Reckitt & Colman, Rolls-Royce, Schroder Mediter- ranean Fund.

Finals: Verity Group, Wiggins Group

Annual meetings: Greene King, Lazard Select Investment Trust, Morris Ashby, Radstone Technology, Scottish & Newcastle.

EGMs: Alpha Airports Group.

Economics:

In the US, personal income is expected to grow in July by 0.5 per cent compared with June. Consumption is expected to increase at 0.3 per cent. Factory goods orders are expected to rise by 0.6 per cent compared with June. In Japan, industrial production has been falling since April and is forecast to show a further monthly decline in July. In France, the Banque de France council meets after its summer break and the markets will be watching to see if the upset to the franc following Alain Madelin's departure as finance minister will affect an expected cut in the 5-10 day repo rate.

FRIDAY

Companies:

Interims: Mithras Investment Trust.

Finals: Isotron.

Annual meetings: General Electric, Ivory & Sime, Prism Leisure Corp, Taunton Cider.

EGMs: Property Trust.

Economics:

Following disappointing trade figures for countries outside the European Union, the trade deficit with the whole world is expected to be pounds 1.1bn. The City will also be watching the purchasing managers' index for signs of further growth in the manufacturing sector. In July it stood at 52.3; any fall below 50 would indicate recession. In the US, the markets will be watching the purchasing managers' index for any further sign of recovery. In July it bounced back to 50.5 from 45.7 in June. The most important release is the employment report for August. A growth in non-farm payroll jobs of 160,000 is anticipated.

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