Investors hope Petrofac serves up some good news

As fuel prices continue to fall, Wednesday should reveal the impact on retail sales. Picture: Greg Macvean

As fuel prices continue to fall, Wednesday should reveal the impact on retail sales. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Oilfield contractor Petrofac delivers interim results tomorrow and analysts are hoping for some good news on progress with its Laggan-Tormore project.

Petrofac had already warned it would incur losses of about £130 million this year on the Shetland gas plant, and in June said it expected costs to rise even higher as it undertakes extra pre-commissioning works.

Brewin Dolphin said investors would also be keen to hear progress on its record order book and the “strength of new orders from the national oil companies, who are its main customers, compared to the major cutbacks in project spending by the international oil companies reported by Wood Group”.

WEEK AHEAD

Today

• Bunzl – First–half results are due from the distribution and packaging group, which recently said revenues are on track to have grown 6 per cent in the six months to June.

• Headlam – The flooring distributor is also scheduled to deliver its numbers for the first six months of the year.

Tomorrow

• Services sector – The Office for National Statistics will reveal how the powerhouse of the UK economy fared in June. Finance and business services were the main contributors to a 2.7 per cent rise in output the previous month.

• Petrofac – Investec analysts believe half–year results will be “messy”, with big losses on the contractor’s Laggan–Tormore gas plant project on Shetland.

Wednesday

• Stagecoach – The Perth–based transport giant, which holds its annual meeting on Friday, will update investors on trading during the first quarter.

• Lending – The British Bankers’ Association is due to reveal consumer and business lending figures for July.

• WPP – First–half results are scheduled from the advertising and communications giant.
• Retail – The CBI publishes its quarterly retail sales survey. Latest official data showed that average store prices fell for the 13th month running in July, pushed lower by continued declines in petrol costs.

Thursday

• Aldermore – The challenger bank is forecast to more than double profits when it posts its half–year results, amid expected growth in customer numbers and the amount it lends. Numis analysts expect the group, which launched in 2009 and has 170,000 customers, to see its pre–tax profits jump by 120 per cent to £41 million, helped by loan book growth of 27 per cent.

• Hays – Annual results are due from the recruitment outfit, which was recently downgraded to “underperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets despite the broker forecasting acceleration in Europe and continued strength in the UK.

Friday

• GDP – The second estimate of second–quarter economic growth will be published by the Office for National Statistics. The initial estimate, delivered in July, put GDP growth at 0.7 per cent - well ahead of the 0.4 per cent seen in the first three months of the year.

• Bwin.party – The FoxyBingo owner publishes half–year results on the same day as takeover suitor 888 - in the wake of a series of attempts by rival GVC to gatecrash the tie–up between the pair with a higher offer.

• Restaurant Group – Solid growth for the first six months of the year is expected from the owner of Frankie & Benny’s, with the City expecting the release of James Bond movie Spectre and the latest Star Wars blockbuster to also see it finish the year strongly.

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