Holiday giants Thomas Cook and Tui Travel will go head-to-head this week when they offer updates on the key summer season’s trading.
Thomas Cook boss Harriet Green recently shrugged off worries over the company’s summer trading, when she said it was too early to tell if the summer heatwave persuaded holidaymakers to stay in Britain rather than fly abroad.
However, Irish carriers Ryanair and Aer Lingus have both since warned over profits, hurt by factors including slumping demand over the summer, suggesting the tour operators could also be in for a rough ride.
• AG Barr – The Irn-Bru maker is expected to shake off the disappointment of its failed £1.4 billion reverse takeover of Britvic by reporting a summer of fizzing sales.
• Eurozone PMI – The latest “flash” PMI for the 17-nation bloc, along with individual readings for France and Germany, will give economists an early clue as to wether the recovery is gaining pace.
• BBA mortgage approvals – Analysts expect a modest rise in the BBA’s numbers for August. Mortgage approvals for house purchases are now 30 per cent above levels seen a year ago, but still 30 per cent below their long-term average.
• Cupid – The Edinburgh-based internet dating firm will update the market on its trading after recently selling its “casual dating” business – including sites such as Benaughty.com and Flirt.com – to co-founder Max Polyakov in a deal worth £45.1 million. It said at the time the disposal would enable it to focus on its mainstream online dating sites.
• Topps Tiles – The retailer will reveal whether the recovering housing market has boosted recent trade when it provides its pre-close update. Analysts at N+1 Singer warn that Topps faces resurgent competition and profits could be further dented by the heatwave.
• Thomas Cook – The travel and holiday firm is expected to report more progress on its transformation, which management says has hauled the group “back from the brink”. Analysts at Credit Suisse expect Thomas Cook’s adjusted pre–tax profits – which strip out expensive restructuring costs – to soar to £105.3m in the year to the end of September, from just £12.7m seen 12 months ago.
• Tui Travel – The First Choice owner saw UK summer sales growth ease slightly as July’s heatwave hurt last-minute getaways, but is benefiting overall from growing consumer confidence. Analysts expect underlying earnings of £546m on a constant currency basis in the year to the end of September, up from £490m a year earlier, and see revenues edging up to £14.8bn.
• UK GDP – The second revision, or third estimate, of Britain’s second quarter output could yet provide a pleasant surprise. Economists think the growth figure may be edged up to 0.8 per cent. A final reading for US GDP is also due.
• GfK consumer confidence The GfK index recovered strongly in August to -13, just four points short of its long-term average, and economists expect it to provide further evidence that the UK economic recovery is gaining traction this month.