Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

G4S feeling secure while pubs prepare to net football sales

The Week Ahead

Although its share price dipped at the time, RBC Capital Market's scribblers were impressed by G4S's final results back in March and they are expecting the security services group's first-quarter update on Tuesday to show "continued momentum", predicting that organic growth will be around 5%, representing positive news.

Wednesday

Although Greggs' campaign against the so-called "pasty tax" has given it plenty of publicity, the high street baker's share price has been under pressure ever since March's budget.

We already know that like-for-like sales over the first 10 weeks of the current financial year dropped 1.8% and - despite the recent spotlight on the company - Numis Securities' Andrew Wade still expects that Wednesday's 18-week update will show this remaining in the negative territory.

Thursday

In the run-up to June - which, with Euro 2012 football and the Jubilee celebrations, is expected to be a strong month for the boozers - Marston's releases its interim results on Thursday. The market already largely knows what to expect, given that the group announced that like-for-like sales over the first 23 weeks of the year from its managed estate were up 3.5%, although Deutsche Bank's scribes suggest the sunny weather in March could see this go slightly higher by the end of the half-year. At the same time, they predict its leased and tenanted pubs will have seen "modest growth" while admitting their expectations of a small margin increase from that side of its business may be too optimistic.

Meanwhile, Aviva will once again be in focus as the insurer announces its figures for the first-quarter on Thursday a little more than a week after the resignation of its chief executive Andrew Moss.

Friday

The London Stock Exchange will reveal quite how much it has been helped by the turmoil in the Italian banking system on Friday when it releases its preliminary results, with Numis' James Hamilton believing the bourse's net treasury income will have more than doubled.

Also updating the market on Friday is All Bar One and Harvester owner Mitchells & Butlers, whose interim results follow in the wake of figures this week from rivals Enterprise Inns and Marston's.

The pubs company - which still hasn't found a replacement for former chief executive Adam Fowle, who left over a year ago -is expected by Peel Hunt's Paul Hickman to have seen a slowdown in like-for-like sales growth over the second-quarter, resulting in a rise of 3% for the first six months of the year.

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