Rolls and WPP ex­pected to look beyond virus hit

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - Louis ash­worth

To­day

Af­ter a strong first-half, there will be “lit­tle to sur­prise” in Bunzl’s in­terim re­sults, says UBS’s Rory McKen­zie. The spe­cial­ist de­liv­ery and dis­tri­bu­tion group has re­ported “re­silient” trad­ing, with high de­mand for gro­ceries, and the mar­gin-friendly safety, clean­ing, hy­giene and health­care sec­tors.

Its man­age­ment will likely now guide for a “tougher” sec­ond half to the year, said Mr McKen­zie, with the stock­pil­ing no longer able to coun­ter­bal­ance a de­cline in food ser­vice and non-food re­tail.

In­terim re­sults: Bunzl

To­mor­row

Apax Global Al­pha’s port­fo­lio, dom­i­nated by in­vest­ments made dur­ing 2015 and 2016, is fi­nally com­ing of age, says Jef­feries’ Matthew Hose.

The “ma­tur­ing” pri­vate eq­uity in­vest­ment-fo­cused fund “has al­ready be­gun to bear fruit”, he adds, with the suc­cess­ful re­cent float of in­sur­ance soft­ware provider Duck Creek Tech­nolo­gies enough to off­set the neg­a­tive im­pact of re­cent US dol­lar weak­ness. Mr Hose raised Apax’s rat­ing to “buy”, say­ing its shares look good value.

In­terim re­sults: Apax Global Al­pha, Fisher (James) & Sons

Eco­nom­ics: CBI dis­tribu­tive trades sur­vey (UK); Q2 GDP fi­nal read­ing, IFO business cli­mate (Ger­many); con­sumer con­fi­dence (US)

Wed­nes­day

Signs of im­prov­ing col­lec­tion rates will be a key point in Prov­i­dent Fi­nan­cial’s first-half re­sults.

When the doorstep lender last of­fered a trad­ing up­date, in late May, it said home col­lec­tions were be­ing car­ried out re­motely and “track­ing at over 80pc of pre-Covid ex­pec­ta­tions”.

That was now “some time ago”, says Good­body’s John Cronin, who says it would be a sur­prise if Wed­nes­day’s in­ter­ims don’t “point to ma­te­ri­ally im­proved col­lec­tions lev­els”. In­terim re­sults: Prov­i­dent Fi­nan­cial, Poly­metal In­ter­na­tional Eco­nom­ics: BoE chief econ­o­mist Andy Hal­dane we­bi­nar (UK); con­sumer con­fi­dence (France); durable goods or­ders (US)

Thurs­day

For many com­pa­nies, ad­ver­tis­ing bud­gets were the first thing on the chop­ping block af­ter the pan­demic hit. That was bad news for WPP, which im­ple­mented pay cuts and sus­pended its div­i­dend. The ad gi­ant is likely to un­veil some painful num­bers – but some peers have beaten ex­pec­ta­tions, and in­vestors may be more in­clined to fo­cus on bosses’ thoughts on the fu­ture.

Af­ter a trad­ing up­date in July, Thurs­day’s Rolls-Royce in­ter­ims are “largely im­ma­te­rial”, says Citi’s Charles Armitage. In­stead, in­vestors will be eyeing the ex­tent to which real­ity is match­ing up with the aerospace en­gi­neer’s ex­pec­ta­tions: with rev­enue pas­sen­ger kilo­me­tres, a key met­ric of avi­a­tion de­mand, still far worse than the group’s tar­get.

In­terim re­sults: An­glo Pa­cific,

Hunt­ing, OneSav­ings Bank, Rolls-Royce, WPP

Full-year: Hays, TheWorks

Trad­ing state­ment: Diploma Eco­nom­ics: In­dus­trial prof­its (China); money sup­ply (eu­ro­zone); vir­tual Jack­son Hole Eco­nomic Pol­icy Sym­po­sium be­gins, Q2 GDP sec­ond es­ti­mate, job­less claims (US)

Fri­day

In­terim re­sults: Amigo, Essen­tra Eco­nom­ics: An­drew Bai­ley speaks at Jack­son Hole (UK/US); business con­fi­dence (eu­ro­zone); Q2 GDP fi­nal read­ing (France); goods trade bal­ance, per­sonal spend­ing and in­come (US)

Aerospace ex­pec­ta­tions: Rolls-Royce’s Trent En­gine dis­played at the Sin­ga­pore Air­show in Fe­bru­ary this year. The com­pany has been badly af­fected by the slump in flights

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