THE WEEK AHEAD

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TODAY

Companies:

Bullough, the engineering, heating and office products company, is not expected to improve on last year's pounds 17.6m pre-tax profits when it reports its full-year figures today.

The group has already warned of a drop in trading at Atal, the French office-furniture subsidiary, and the City is forecasting profits of anywhere between pounds 13.5m and pounds 18.5m. The total dividend will stay at 6.05p a share for the year.

Eurocamp warned in June that holiday sales were sluggish and the City is expecting no fireworks from the camping holiday group today. However, the group does appear to have weathered the stubbornly high French franc with lower cross-Channel ferry charges boosting bookings for campsites in France.

NatWest Markets is forecasting full-year pre-tax profits of between pounds 8.8m and pounds 9.7m against pounds 8.7m last year.

Interims: Courtyard Leisure, Filtronic Comtek, Haynes Publishing, TR Smaller Cos Investment Trust.

Finals: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, SGS-Thomson, St Andrews Trust, Trencherwood, USDC Investment Trust.

Annual general meetings:

Chrysalis Group, Kleinwort European, National Home Loans.

EGMs: Ingham.

Economics:

Banking mortgage lending figures for December will indicate whether they, too, have dropped in line with the recent fall in building society loans. In Japan, industrial production in December will be watched closely to see if the hoped-for recovery is coming through; it rose by 1.5 per cent in November.

TOMORROW

Companies:

Interims: Adscene Group, Birkdale Group, Edinburgh Smaller Companies, Games Workshop, Kay's Food Group, Property Trust, Wyko Group.

Finals: Lorien Group, Northern Rock Building Society.

Annual general meetings:

Blick, Edinburgh New Tiger, Johnson & Firth Brown, Sidlaw Group, Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries.

EGMs: CE Heath.

Economics:

The Federal Open Market Committee starts a two-day meeting in Washington amid market speculation that the US Federal Reserve may decide to cut rates again following the quarter-point reduction last December. Retail sales will provide a final indicator for the FOMC to consider. The market is expecting growth of 0.6 per cent in December.

WEDNESDAY

Companies:

Interims: Anglo United, Beales Hunter, Bucknall Group, Cavaghan & Gray, Eurodis Electron, Hidong Estate, Illingworth Morris, Kay's Food Group, Peel Holdings, Zetters. Finals: Allied Textile Companies, Fyffes, Harry Ramsden's, Porvair.

Annual general meetings:

Data General, Hanson, M&G Group.

EGMs: Boustead, Ellis & Everard.

Economics:

The Bank of England sells a further pounds 3bn worth of gilts, this time for five-year debt.

The minutes of the meeting between Kenneth Clarke and Eddie George on 13 December, when base rate was cut by a quarter point, will provide a clue to whether the Governor is likely to have backed the surprise follow- up reduction in January. The Council of Mortgage Lenders will publish figures for mortgage repossessions in the second half of 1995.

In France, the unemployment rate is expected to nudge up to 11.6 per cent in November following renewed signs of economic weakness.

THURSDAY

Companies:

Misys, the information systems group, is expected to produce a sharply improved performance at the half-way stage with interim pre-tax profits more than doubled at pounds 22.6m, according to NatWest Markets.

The banking division has embarked on new strategy that is expected enhance the development of the core products. The insurance division will benefit from last year's acquisition of Penta, which will strengthen Mysis' position in the personal lines intermediary software market, now above 50 per cent.

In the information systems division a poor performance from Quasar will be compensated by a strong performance from core products.

Interims: Peter Black Holdings, TR City of London, Wholesale Fittings.

Finals: Gartmore British Income & Growth, Hotspur Investments.

Annual general meetings:

Care UK.

EGMs: Ashbourne.

Economics:

The global trade balance for November will come under the spotlight to see how hard the European slowdown is hitting UK exporters. The big fall in imports which propelled the French trade balance to a record surplus in November suggests that UK exporters have been having a hard time. The overall trade gap is expected to decline to pounds 900m from pounds 1.7bn in October.

Final and full monetary statistics for December will be watched for the behaviour of consumer credit, which has recently been growing at a brisk pace of 13 per cent.

The purchasing managers' report is expected to show manufacturing at a standstill - equivalent to an index reading of 50. In the US, a similar report is forecast to show the manufacturing sector remaining in recession. The German Bundesbank Council meets but no change is expected in the discount rate.

FRIDAY

Companies:

Interims: None scheduled.

Finals: Malvern UK Index, Mithras Inv Trust, Motor World Group.

Annual general meetings:

Compass Group, Hozelock Group, Macdonald Martin Distilleries, Rossmont, Second Consolidated Trust, Vaux Group, Willoughby's Consolidated.

EGMs: Brackenbridge.

Economics:

The Halifax index for January will be watched closely to see if there is a sixth successive monthly increase in house prices. UK official reserves for January are expected to remain flat.

In the US, the market is expecting non-farm payrolls to grow by 125,000 following the rise of 150,000 in December. The unemployment rate is forecast to rise from 5.6 to 5.7 per cent.

Economics data:

Deutsche Morgan Grenfell

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