London Report: UK retailers set to reveal if tills ringing again

RETAILERS are set to reveal this week how big an impact the UK recovery is making as consumers return the shops.

Reports from Dunelm, Home Retail, Morrisons, Next, Ocado and Sports Direct will show how confident buyers are in the improving economy.

Ocado, which will update the market on Thursday, was rated a “buy” by Numis, which said “the last 12 months have been transformational” for the brand”, in part because of its new deal with Morrisons.

“The business is now financially stable, no longer capacity constrained, and has supported by a ringing endorsement of its business model,” the analyst said.

Though it will not make a financial update, Marks & Spencer is also joining the retail flurry with an update for both the City and retailers tomorrow on the autumn and winter collection it is hoping will lift its sales. Chief executive Marc Bolland has pledged to reassert its positions as “a leading, premium fashion retailer”.

The corporate calendar starts today with news from Ricardo and Associated British Foods, followed by updates tomorrow from Abcam, Amara Mining, Ashmore; Craneware; ISG, Circle Holdings, Hilton Food and Whitbread.

On Wednesday Barratt Developments, Brooks Macdonald, Advanced Medical Solutions, African Minerals, Alliance Pharma, Kingfisher and Sports Direct will give their latest numbers.

Thursday is set to bring reports from Centaur Media, Dunelm, Kier, 32Red, Morrisons, Next, Home Retail, Darty, Ocado and Photo-Me International.

Finally, Songbird and JD Wetherspoon will put superstition aside to update the market on Friday 13th.

The economic calendar is likely to be light, with RICS housing survey due tomorrow and unemployment figures for August and pay data for July due on Wednesday.

Barclays’ Simon Hayes said: “We look for the ILO unemployment rate to fall by one-tenth to 7.7 per cent after remaining stable for the previous four months. We expect the claimant count unemployment to continue its decreasing trend, falling by 24k in August.”

On Thursday Bank of England governor Mark Carney and other top officials are expected to be questioned by the Treasury Select Committee of MPs about forward guidance.