More news on the economy with profit figures due out from the hospitality, gaming and retail sectors. Investors will be a little nervous as Carpetright is expected to announce a measly £3 million profit, a long way from the heady days of £62 million in 2008. Mandatory profit warnings over the last six months had the market twitchy already, and more of the same could be on the way.
Carpetright’s new CEO Darren Shapland came into the top job from Sainsbury and joins Lord Harris of Peckham at the helm. So far, the pair has done little to quell market jitters about Carpetright’s future direction and the next 12 months will be a nervous time for management.
In hospitality, Greene King investors are anticipating a 9 per cent profit increase, on the back of a renewed interest in eating out. Record takings for Christmas Day and Mother’s day should help the group which includes Loch Fyne Restaurants and Old English Inns. Numis Securities analyst Douglas Jack is expecting a rise of £153 million in pre-tax profit – a rise of 9 per cent.
Online gaming specialists Betfair will buoy investors with a record profit announcement. The development of new smart phone apps, which enable users to make bets on the go has helped the gaming industry make inroads into new, younger markets, taking advantage of the popularity of the trend towards on-the go gambling.
Transport giant Stagecoach has made steady growth this year and stable profit figures should support the direction of the group, which runs much of the bus and train services across the country. Expected profits should be just over last year’s £191 million annual profit which in the tight economic conditions should be viewed by investors as a satisfactory result.