DCSIMG

Spotlight falls on M&S with profit drop expected

Marks & Spencer is set to announce a fall in annual profits later this week to around �615 million - its third consecutive drop

Marks & Spencer is set to announce a fall in annual profits later this week to around �615 million - its third consecutive drop

  • by DOMINIC JEFF
 

Full-year results from a number of blue-chip firms this week will give the market a sense of how key sectors are trading.

The high street will be under particular scrutiny as Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland attempts to put the brightest possible dress on a third successive drop in annual profits.

And with SSE and United Utilities both reporting, the power and water industries will face a fresh wave of scrutiny.

Meanwhile, economists think there is a realistic chance that already strong GDP growth of 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year could be revised up a notch, while the first public finance figures of the new ­financial year should show some improvement in the borrowing rate.

WEEK AHEAD

Monday

• Babcock International – Full–year results from the defence contractor will give an indication of how far recent contract wins have dented its order pipeline.

Tuesday

• Vodafone – Tough competition across Europe will be felt in Vodafone’s annual results presentation, with the City expecting profits to fall to £12.9 billion, from £13.6bn a year earlier.

• Inflation – The core CPI measure is expected to have held at around 1.6 per cent.

Wednesday

• SSE – The Perth–based firm’s annual results should show a rise in profits, but analysts will want to know if its self–imposed price freeze has affected business.

Thursday

• Marks & Spencer – Profits are set to fall to around £615 million, from £665m.

• Scottish Engineering – The group’s annual dinner takes place in Glasgow.

• Commonwealth Games – Scottish business leaders meet at Aggreko’s Dumbarton base to start the firm’s campaign to build a legacy for the Games.

Friday

• HSBC – The banking giant holds its annual meeting.

 

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