Markets: Wall-to-wall gloom as Carpetright profit warnings pile up

RETAILERS, restaurants and bookies will this week give an indication of the state of consumer confidence during the double-dip recession.

Carpetright’s full-year profits could be as low as £3 million on Tuesday, down from £17m a year ago and £62m in better times in 2008 before the property crash meant fewer people were moving house and buying carpets.

The firm has rocked investors with a series of profit warnings over the past year and the City is fearful another could be in the pipeline.

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Department store chain Debenhams is likely to detail a challenging three months in its latest trading update on Thursday as it contended with the wettest April on record and fought for customers with heavy promotions.

City analysts will be keen to see if profit margins have held intact during the three months to 3 March.

Belhaven Brewery owner Greene King is expected to toast a 9 per cent rise in profits on Thursday after reaping the benefit of Britons’ appetite for eating out.

The owner of the Hungry Horse, Loch Fyne and Old English Inns chains took £2m on Christmas Day during a record festive period and sold a further 220,000 meals on Mother’s Day, up 16 per cent on the previous year.

Online gaming firm Betfair is set to report record profits on Friday as smartphone apps produce a surge in popularity of on-the-move gambling.

The group is expected to benefit from the Euro 2012 football championships and the Olympics this year.

Perth-based transport group Stagecoach is expected to unveil a steady ride in full-year profits on Tuesday despite a challenging economic backdrop for the industry. Group pre-tax profits are expected to fall to £196m from £206m after weaker sales growth.