London Report: Retailers reveal where tills rang for Christmas

RETAILERS are expected to reveal where UK shoppers showed their Christmas cheer, with a round of results in contrast to last week’s gloomy December tidings.

Figures out this week from retailers such as Argos, Asos, Dixons, Ocado and Primark are expected to show increased sales.

The successes are in contrast to the sales dips seen by Tesco and Morrisons, and the difficulties Marks & Spencer has seen with its clothing ranges.

In the consumer calendar, Ashmore Group, Asos, Barratt Developments, Balfour Beatty, Big Yellow Group, Carrs Milling Industries, Countrywide, Dragon Oil, IG Group, Mecom Group, Michael Page International, Provident Financial and Spirit Pub Company are all due to report tomorrow.

On Wednesday Burberry Group, Fenner, Genel Energy, Jupiter Fund Management, Smiths News, Taylor Wimpey, Tullow Oil and UK Mail Group will give their latest figures.

Aberdeen Asset Management, AB Foods, Bovis Homes, C&C Group, Dixons Retail, Experian, Halfords Group, Home Retail Group, Ocado Group, Premier Oil and Quindell will all update the market on Thursday.

Booker Group, Stobart Group and William Hill are due to give trading updates on Friday.

In economics news, ONS House price data for the year to November will be released tomorrow, while RICS house price data for December is due out on Thursday. Both will give bricks and mortar investors a clue as to whether the gradual price rise seen at the end of last year is continuing or increasing.

Inflation data – both retail price index (RPI) and consumer price index (CPI) – is also due out tomorrow, with analysts expecting little change from last month.

Alan Clarke from Scotia Bank said: “We expect UK CPI inflation to be stable at 2.1 per cent year-on-year in December, with the RPI ticking back up to 2.8 per cent year on year. Two key influences this month are likely to be petrol prices and utility bill hikes.”

On Friday retail sales data for December is due to be released. Office for National Statistics figures are forecast to show a 3.4 per cent annual rise in December sales, an improvement on November’s 2.3 per cent increase.