Market watch: Fall forecast for Kingfisher

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KINGFISHER is expected to reveal improved sales at its B&Q home improvements chain on Thursday, but profits are still forecast to be down on last year.

Although analysts are predicting a 1 per cent dip in third-quarter UK sales, that would mark an improvement on the 6 per cent slide seen in the first half. Retail profits at the group, which also owns trade supplier Screwfix and a French DIY business, are predicted to have fallen 7 per cent to £255 million for the 13 weeks to 27 October.

Rival chain Homebase recently reported a 6.2 per cent fall in like-for-like sales for the first half after being hit by the wash-out summer weather.

Two of Britain’s biggest pub chains report annual results after seeing mixed fortunes amid the summer of sport.

Numis Securities expects Mitchells & Butlers to unveil an 11 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £179m on Tuesday. The owner of the Harvester and Toby Carvery chains saw its drink sales fall earlier in the year following England’s disappointing Euro 2012 performance, but trading recovered in the fourth quarter.

Rival Marston’s reports full-year figures on Thursday, and it is expected to reveal better-than-expected trading after opening 25 venues and improving profits from its tenants. Analysts have pencilled in an 8 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £87m.

Tomorrow: Aberdeen Asset Management

Tuesday: Britvic, Mitchells & Butlers, Severn Trent
Wednesday: Thomas Cook

Thursday: Dixons Retail, Kingfisher, Marston’s