The week ahead: House builders to report recovery

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The recovery in Britain’s property market will be highlighted this week when housebuilders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey update on trading, while online retailer Ocado reports results after a buoyant first half.

Tomorrow’s half-year results from online retailer Ocado come after the group’s recent coup in securing a 25-year, £170 million deal with Morrisons to enable the supermarket to sell food on the web.

Ocado, which employs around 6,000 people, also said in May it had seen a strong start to the year, setting the scene for a decent set of interim results. Underlying earnings are expected to rise by a fifth to £18.1m in the first half, thanks to a forecast rise in net revenues to £355.8m.

Meanwhile the UK government’s latest measures to support the housing market south of the Border should help builder Persimmon report more strong growth when it updates on recent trading on tomorrow.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank predict a “significant pick-up in reservations”.

They said: “Persimmon will offer a robust trading outlook and while the statement may refrain from including full-year 2013 guidance we believe strong reservations and margin progression may drive upside to consensus estimates.”

Fellow housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is also set to confirm improving market conditions when it updates on trading on Thursday.

The Buckinghamshire-based company said in April that its total order book was up 18 per cent on the same time in 2012 at £1.2 billion, with prices and margins improving.

Private reservations were up to 0.67 sales per outlet, from 0.62 per outlet a year earlier, with growth led by the buoyant London and the South East markets.

Analysts expect the builder to report more growth - and some analysts expect it may soon start paying a dividend again.

And the new boss of N Brown will face investors for the first time tomorrow as the home shopping group’s customer recruitment drive begins to pay off.

Angela Spindler, the former managing director of Debenhams who joins from discount chain the Original Factory Shop, will say that online sales are expanding strongly, when she faces investors at the company’s annual meeting in Manchester.