Kingfisher boss Veronique Laury to set out stall when she presents finals


Oscar Williams-Grut
Monday 30 March 2015 01:25 BST

Veronique Laury, the new boss of B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher, will set out her stall when she presents finals tomorrow – and there’s a lot to be done. UBS’s Andrew Hughes says: “The areas of focus will be any downsizing plans for B&Q, how to tackle the wider trade market in the UK, any update on the Mr Bricolage acquisition, any further targets for global sourcing, and whether Kingfisher continues to push into new markets with associated start-up costs.”

Mr Hughes forecasts pre-tax profit for the year of £670m, 10 per cent below last year’s figure, and said another fall could be on the cards, with Ms Laury’s vision likely to cost money.

Al Noor Hospitals has finals today, as do Central Asia Metals, Polymetal International, Outsourcery and XLMedia. Catering giant Compass has a trading update, with Numis’s Wyn Ellis expecting it will have “continued to benefit from strong organic revenue growth in North America with some overdue improvement in like-to-like revenues.” Diploma has half-year figures.

Chesnara and InternetQ have interims tomorrow, while Peppa Pig distributor Entertainment One has a trading statement. Mitie and Thomas Cook have management updates, with the City expecting the travel agent to sound a confident note in the wake of solid trading at rivals Dart and Kuoni. In economic news, consumer confidence and GDP figures are due.

Roman Abramovich’s steel business Evraz has finals on Wednesday and Asos has half-year numbers. FirstGroup has a pre-close update statement. Manufacturing PMI numbers will be released, followed by construction PMI stats a day later.

Before the City clocks off for Easter we’ll see updates from Booker, Dunelm, Electrocomponents and Tate & Lyle on Thursday. UBS expects the sweetener giant to leave forecasts unchanged, following a string of profit warnings.

Marks & Spencer has fourth-quarter sales figures on Thursday, with Deutsche Bank expecting to see slow and steady improvement. The bank thinks M&S’s general merchandise will continue to lose sales but that problems with the online operation will have been resolved.

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