Belfast Telegraph

Drax on track to go green as weather dampens Next's sales

The Week Ahead

By Toby Green

Last week Drax slumped 15% in one session after the government finally announced its proposals for green-energy subsidies, with investors disappointed by the support for biomass.

However, the power station operator responded by welcoming the proposals and saying plans to convert its plants to burn more of the eco-friendly fuel were still on track, so the market will be looking for further reassurance today when it announces its half-year results.

Results/Updates: Allocate Software, BP, Brammer, Capital & Counties Properties, Creston, Devro, Dignity, Drax Group, Elementis, Fresnillo, Future, GKN, Greencore, Inchcape, Petra Diamonds, Polymetal International, Rotork, Tullett Prebon, Vedanta Resources, Weir Group, Wolfson Microelectronics and Xstrata.

Wednesday

The fact the sun has stayed away for much of the summer has not been good news for the clothing retailers, with shoppers unwilling to splash out on new wardrobes. Tomorrow, Next will reveal how much it has been knocked by the weather as Lord Wolfson's chain unveils its figures for the second quarter.

Analysts from Bernstein expect the company to announce that like-for-like retail sales dropped by 4% over the period, although they do highlight recent industry data showing it has been outperforming its rivals on the high street.

Results/Updates: Antofagasta, Avocet Mining, Eurasian Natural Resources, F&C Asset Management, Filtrona, Jupiter Fund Management, Next, Rexam, Rightmove, Shire, Standard Chartered, StatPro, Taylor Wimpey, WS Atkins and Xchanging.

Thursday

RSA announces its interim results on Thursday, and the insurer has already said it expects the UK's recent heavy rain and flooding to have cost it at least £50m. It also estimated losses from the Italian earthquakes earlier in the year will total £35m, and the two will combine to overshadow a "positive, underlying underwriting performance", according to JPMorgan Cazenove.

Results/Updates: 4imprint, Aggreko, BAE Systems, Hyder Consulting, Ladbrokes, Management Consulting Group, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Robert Walters, RPS, RSA Insurance, Schroders, Segro, Smith & Nephew, Spirent Communications, Thomas Cook and Trinity Mirror.

Friday

The recent run of updates from the banking sector comes to an end on Friday as Royal Bank of Scotland unveils its interim results.

Oriel Securities' scribes are expecting the group to have managed an operating profit of £1,982m over the six months, hindered by a £979m loss from its remaining non-core businesses.

Results/Updates: Diploma, Inmarsat, International Consolidated Airlines, Novae, Rentokil Initial and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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