Markets week looks all set to open with a Punch…

The eyes of the world will be focused on Friday's key announcement of the latest US jobs figures. Picture: Getty
The eyes of the world will be focused on Friday's key announcement of the latest US jobs figures. Picture: Getty
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With the trading week getting off to a belated start due to the bank holiday, pubs group Punch Taverns was today expected to toast a surge in profits, while Thursday brings results from transport operator Go-Ahead and an update from convenience store chain McColl’s.

Rounding off the week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) releases its car registration data for August on Friday. The trade body last month reported a 3.2 per cent increase for July, but there was a 5.8 per cent year-on-year fall north of the Border.

For the UK as a whole, sales have risen for 41 months in a row, thanks to low interest rates and attractive finance deals.

WEEK AHEAD

Today

• Punch Taverns – Brokers at Numis expect the pubs group, owner of the Ensign Ewart in Edinburgh, to see its annual pre–tax profits lift by 46 per cent to £56.6 million. The firm recently agreed the sale of 158 outlets to property firm NewRiver Retail for £53.5m.

• Manufacturing – The latest snapshot on the health of the sector will be delivered in the form of Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

• Energy Assets – The Livingston–based gas meter supplier holds its annual shareholder meeting.

• Snoozebox – First–half results are due from the firm that uses converted shipping containers to create temporary hotels during high–profile events such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Tomorrow

• Johnson Service Group – The Aim–quoted dry cleaning specialist, which recently became the UK’s largest supplier of linen to the restaurant trade after completing a £65.4m deal to buy London Linen Supply, is scheduled to take the wraps off its results for the six months to the end of June.

• Construction – The latest PMI report covering output in the building sector is set to be released by Markit.

Thursday

• McColl’s Retail – A quarterly update is expected to show tough trading for the convenience store chain, reflecting the supermarket price war. In July it blamed margin pressure on magazines and tobacco, combined with food and alcohol deflation, as it said like–for–like sales were down 2.5 per cent in the second quarter. Analysts are forecasting a similar trend for the third quarter.

• Go-Ahead – Rising bus and rail revenues are tipped to have boosted the transport group’s annual earnings. Operating profits are forecast to have risen 8.5 per cent to £112m. Go–Ahead is the only operator bidding for both the Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises, the latter of which serves Scotland, Yorkshire and the north–west of England.

• Services – Markit will reveal the state of health for the UK’s powerhouse services sector with its latest PMI survey

Friday

• Car sales – The SMMT is due to release car registration figures for August. Last month the trade body said demand for smaller vehicles had helped contribute to the 41st consecutive month of increased sales, although it said growth in the second half of the year was likely to be “stable” after hitting a record high in the first six months.

• US jobs – All eyes will be on the other side of the Atlantic for the latest sets of non–farm payrolls and unemployment figures for the world’s biggest economy - the last jobs data to be released before the US Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting, which ends on 17 September.