THE WEEK AHEAD

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TODAY

Companies

The City is looking to see how easily Courage slipped down the throat of Scottish & Newcastle when the brewing and leisure group announces its interim figures today. News on the size of the restructuring provisions and potential cost savings are keenly awaited.

Trading is expected to have been good with NatWest Markets predicting a pre-tax profit of pounds 168m against pounds 146m last time. Courage should produce about pounds 10m for the three months since the acquisition.

Interims: Alba, Acal, Allen, Associated Nursing, Hadleigh Industries, Hazlewood Foods, Plysu, TGI.

Finals: Bearing Power Intl, Butte Mining, Faber Prest, Get Group, H Young.

AGMs: Heritage, Kleinwort Development.

EGMs: CSC Inv Trust, Southnews, Sunset & Vine.

Economics

The monetary base, M0, is expected to rise by half a per cent, taking the annual rate of increase up from 5.2 per cent to 5.4 per cent in November - which is well outside the Government's monitoring range of 0-4 per cent. The Treasury has suggested that the persistently strong growth in 1995 indicates a structural change caused by a slowdown in financial innovation and an adjustment to lower inflation.

The Halifax house price index will be watched to see if it confirms the Nationwide's indication of an upturn in the housing market.

TOMORROW

Companies

The interim pre-tax profit performance of Racal Electronics is likely to be bailed out by the contribution of Camelot. However, there should be encouraging news on substantial defence contract opportunities. Pre- tax profits are forecast at pounds 28.5m with a contribution of some pounds 7m from the NationalLottery organiser.

Interims: Allied Colloids, Anglian Group, Dailywin, Leigh Interests, Midlands Elec, Morris Ashby, N Ireland Electricity, Orbis, Real Time Control, Siebe, TBI, Triplex Lloyd, Wessex Water, Zambia Consolidated Copper.

Finals: Archimedes Inv Trust, Edinburgh New Tiger Trust, Hozelock, Leeds Group, Sage Group, Shaftesbury.

AGMs: Barry Wehmiller, London & St Lawrence, River & Merc Extra Income, Upton & Southern.

Economics

The British Retail Consortium launches a new indicator of retail sales. Treasury officials give evidence to the Treasury Committee on the Budget.

WEDNESDAY

Companies

Little surprise is expected in final figures from Bass. A combination of cost-cutting, further progress at Holiday Inn and better beer sales should ensure respectable level of earnings growth. Pre-tax profits are pencilled in at pounds 591m.

Investors in Carlton Communications will be hoping for a clue to future direction with today's final figures. Next year sees the relaxation of cross-media ownership rules and Carlton is expected to expand its position. NatWest Markets is looking for a pre-tax profit of pounds 246m. Net dividend should be up by 13 per cent at 23.4p.

Interims: Border TV, BTP, Caffyns, Chamberlain Phipps, Clayhithe, Drummond, Expro Int'l, Hill Hire, Jos Hldgs (Q1), London Cremation Co, Penna, R Wiseman Dairies, S Wales Elec, Sterling Publishing, Wellman, WT Foods.

Finals: Avon Rubber, Berisford, Celltech, Fleming Indian Inv Trust, NFC.

AGMs: Lyons Irish Hldgs, Malaysia Mining, Scottish Asian Inv Trust, Scottish Metropolitan, UDO, Villiers.

Economics

Manufacturing output will be watched closely to see if firms are cutting production after the biggest quarterly increase in stocks for 20 years. The City consensus is that output will rise fractionally in October.

The Bank of England's pounds 3bn auction of 10-year gilts stock will test the temperature of the bond market after the surprise increase in the Government's PSBR projection.

THURSDAY

Companies

Stronger profit growth in GEC's telecoms business is likely to support slower growth from the more price-competitive defence and power markets and a mixed performance from the other businesses. NatWest Markets is forecasting interim earnings growth of 3 per cent and dividend growth of 5 per cent. Overall pre-tax profits should remain relatively flat at pounds 398m. Any news on the management succession would be welcome.

Half-year figures from Great Universal Stores are certain to reflect the difficulties in mail order of which the group has already warned. Poor demand for vehicles has also hit sales of the finance division.

Burberrys and overseas retailing should have continued strong performances and property will be helped by acquisitions. Overall pre-tax profits of pounds 228m are expected against pounds pounds 223m last time.

Interims: Abbeycrest, Airsprung, Associated British Engineering, Fine Art Development, Gibbon, Greycoat, High Income Trust, Ideal Hardware, Hartstone, Norbain, Rainford, S Heath

Finals: Alvis, Compass, Dewhurst, Estates & Agency, Eve Group, GUS, Greenalls, GWR, Lovell, United Drug.

AGMs: Eurovein, Investors Capital Trust, Paramount, Stratagem Group, Photo-me Int'l.

EGMs: Cobham.

Economics

Eddie George gives evidence to the Treasury Committee on the Budget. His every word will be pored over for clues to the likely outcome of his meeting with Kenneth Clarke on 13 December.

The CBI distributive trades survey will be watched by analysts as an early indicator of the retail sales index, but in recent months it has proved unreliable for that purpose.

FRIDAY

Companies

Interims: Courts, Crown Eyeglass, Fuller Smith & Turner, John Swan, Syltone, John Tams.

Finals: Ransomes, Unidare.

AGMs: Ass British Foods, Clyde Blowers, Graystone, Highland Distilleries, Pressac Hldgs.

EGMs: East Midlands Electriticy, Geared Income Inv, London Electricity, Midlands Electricity, Northern Electricity, Seeboard, S Wales Electricity, Yorkshire Electricity.

Economics

The employment report will give the best monthly indicator of the buoyancy of the US economy. Non-farm payrolls are expected to rise by 150,000 in November.

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