The Week Ahead: City’s spotlight falls on power firms

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RISING energy bills and the battle for supermarket and mobile phone customers will be in the spotlight this week with figures from SSE, Vodafone and Sainsbury’s.

The heat will be on energy giant SSE on Wednesday when it reveals how much money it is making for the first time since a winter price hike. The Perth-based firm recently increased prices by an average of 9 per cent, becoming the first of the “big six” energy companies to increase prices this autumn. It was followed by all the other major suppliers apart from E.ON.

Investors will also be watching to see if the unseasonably chilly autumn has boosted consumption.

Rival Centrica will update the market on Thursday, having announced it will increase its prices by an average of 6 per cent.

Vodafone investors will find out tomorrow if an initiative to hold on to UK customers until the widespread roll-out of 4G technology has struck a chord. It comes after a year which has seen revenues fall as the mobile phone giant loses ground to rivals offering unlimited deals.

Vodafone will have to wait until the spring to launch its 4G products after EE – formally Everything Everywhere, parent of Orange and T-Mobile – got the go-ahead to offer services on the network, which has speeds up to five times faster than 3G.

Vodafone has been hit by recessions in Spain and Italy, and analysts expect half-year revenues of around £21.8 billion, down from £23.5bn for the same period last year, while underlying profit will fall from £7.5bn to £6.8bn.

Paralympics sponsorship and investment in cheaper own-brand products has helped supermarket Sainsbury’s take market share from rivals Tesco and Morrisons.