A BUMPER week of results will be dominated by the banks, including state-backed lenders Lloyds and RBS and under-fire HSBC, which is mired in allegations that its Swiss private banking arm helped thousands of wealthy clients avoid tax.
Housebuilders Bovis and Persimmon will also be unveiling their latest sets of figures to the City, and analysts predict both firms will have enjoyed strong profit rises amid signs that the mortgage market is picking up.
However, Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, expects data from Nationwide to show that annual house price inflation has slowed to a 16-month low of 6.4 per cent this month, down from 6.8 per cent in January. Archer has pencilled in a “solid but unspectacular” 5 per cent rise for the year.
• HSBC – Full–year profits at the bank are tipped to be in line with last year at about £14.6 billion, but the figures are likely to be overshadowed by an ongoing investigation into suspected “aggravated money laundering”.
• Bovis Homes – The builder is expected to post a 69 per cent jump in annual pre–tax profits to £132.8m.
• Persimmon – Analysts are looking for full–year underlying earnings at the housebuilder to have grown 41 per cent to £466m, reflecting good levels of demand across the UK.
• Weir Group – The Glasgow–based engineer delivers its annual results, having told investors in November that it was confident of “good organic growth”.
• Royal Bank of Scotland – Chief executive Ross McEwan is expected to announce an annual pre–tax profit of £4bn, a dramatic turnaround from the £8.2bn headline loss reported for 2013. However, speculation is mounting about a massive writedown in the value of its US arm, Citizens.
• Ladbrokes – Numis analyst have pencilled in a 10.8 per cent fall in earnings to £123m at the group.
• Lloyds – Shareholders could be in line for their first dividend since the lender’s state bailout, with results forecast to show an underlying pre–tax profit of £7.8bn for 2014, up from £6.2bn last time. But the bank faces a hefty bill for mis–sold payment protection insurance.
• William Hill – The focus on the bookmaker’s results will be its failed attempt to buy rival 888 Holdings for £700m.
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