The Week Ahead

TODAY

Companies

Inchcape, the car distribution and services group, which opened its first Coca-Cola plant in Russia earlier this month, is expected to report reduced profits of around pounds 94m for the six months to June. Insurance broking is forecast to contribute pounds 22m compared to pounds 2m last time, implying a sharp deterioration elsewhere.

Interims: Amey, Anagen, Bemrose, Brake Bros, Clarke Nickolls, Computerised Financial Solutions, Doeflex, Dolphin Packaging, Edinburgh Fund Managers, EIS, Ennex Intnl, Five Arrows Intnl Bond, Hall Engineering, Hodder Headline, How, Inchcape, Refuge, Servisair, T & S Stores

Finals: Adwest, C H Bailey, Biocure Holdings, Community Hospitals, Cornwell Parker, European Leisure, Five Arrows, International Reserve, GT Japan Inv Trust

Annual meetings: Angerstein Underwriting, Merrydown

EGMs: TLS

Economics

The CSO will provide further information on stockbuilding and capital expenditure in the second quarter. The markets will be looking particularly closely at the breakdown of stocks.

TOMORROW

Companies

House of Fraser, the department store group, has sharply underperformed since flotation 18 months ago and has slipped from 180p to 147p at Friday's close.Interims are expected to show a slump from profits of pounds 3.3m last year to a loss of pounds 5.2m in the first half of this year. Weak consumer spending and the summer heatwave will have caused problems, though stock difficulties will have made matters worse. NatWest Securities also hopes for an announcement of a new merchandising director.

Interims: Alexon, Boosey & Hawkes, Brent Intl, Britton, Cassell, Chelsfield, EW Fact, Fiscal Properties, J Fisher, Joseph Holt, House of Fraser, HTV, Irish Life, Lamont Hldgs, Metalrax, Radamec, Radiotrust, Rutland Trust, S&U, Secure Trust, Torday & Carlisle, TransTec, VCI

Finals: Courtyard Leisure, Goodhead Group, Graystone, Ivernia West, A & J Mucklow, Northern Leisure, Quayle Munro Holdings

Annual meetings: AromaScan, Menvier-Swain, Nobo Group

Economics

Meeting of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate setting committee. The consumer confidence index will be watched to see if it remains above 100.

WEDNESDAY

Companies

A big day for Britain's housebuilders with both Beazer Homes and Tarmac reporting. Full-year profits at Beazer are forecast to fall from pounds 55m to pounds 34m, hit by new house sales slowing down. Tarmac, which has put its housebuilding arm up for sale, is likely to see profits fall from pounds 28.5m to pounds 23m.

Interims: A & C Black, Brooks Service, Cluff Resources, Costain, Country Casuals, Expamet Intl, Fired Earth, Gradus, Helical Bar, Int'l Energy, Klearfold, Norcor Holdings, Proudfoot, Rackwood Mineral Hldgs, Tarmac, Watts Blake Bearne

Finals: Allied London Properties, Baillie Gifford Japan, Beazer, A Beckman, Industrial Control, Lincat.

Annual meetings: A H Ball, Sidney C Banks, Conrad Ritblat, Courts, Whinney- Mackay Lewis, Zetters Group

EGMs: RMC Group

Economics

Gilts auction of pounds 3bn of 7.5 per cent 2006, will reveal investors' appetites for government debt at a time when the PSBR looks set to overshoot. Also US durable goods orders.

THURSDAY

Companies

Guinness shares have outperformed by nine per cent since its last figures. Margins have improved in North America and the company has enjoyed strong exports of Scotch whisky.

NatWest Securities is forecasting half-year profits up slightly to pounds 340m, with United Distillers contributing around pounds 263m.

Interims: Atlas Converting, CLS Holdings, Delaney, Ennemix, Forte, Garton Engineering, Guinness, Higgs & Hill, Linton Park, Redland, Sherwood, Speciality Shops, Toye & Co, United News & Media, Yule Catto

Finals: Chesterton Int'l, Pochin's, Prestwick Holdings, Renishaw

Annual meetings: Black Arrow, Bogod, CRT, Electric & General Trust, Hadleigh Industries, Southend Property, Stewart & Wight, Unit Group, Wholesale Fittings

EGMs: Jacques Vert, STV

Economics

The Bank of France council meets but expectations of any further reduction in rates have taken a bashing following the weakness of the franc at the end of last week. Also Japanese industrial production.

FRIDAY

Companies

Profits at Frogmore Estates are forecasted to fall from pounds 16.5m to pounds 14.7m in the six months to June. The company has spent pounds 16m on acqusitions in the first- half period and more activity is expected in the second. Contributions from the housebuilding arm are expected to fall.

Interims: Breedon, Bruntcliffe Aggregates, French Connection, Hamleys, Hepworth, Huntleigh Technology, Kynoch Group, New Guernsey Secs, Ruberoid

Finals: Frogmore Estates, Union Square

Annual meetings: Abbey, Beales Hunter, J & J Dyson, Filtronic Comtek, Leigh Interests, McInerney Properties.

Economics

The monthly meeting between the Chancellor and the Governor is expected to leave interest rates on hold.

Markets will be looking at the US to see if new homes sales remain at over 700,000 and watching the Chicago NAPM to see if it falls further, as an advance warning for Monday's national index. Also in the spotlight: French unemployment figures.

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