London Report: Supermarkets’ results to show split in fortunes

THE varying fortunes of the UK’s supermarkets will be revealed this week as Morrisons gives its quarterly results while Sainsbury’s announces full-year figures.

Sainsbury’s annual results are forecast to show that underlying pre-tax profits rose 3.5 per cent to £782m. However investors will be anxious to see the company’s plans for the next year, especially with the departure of long-standing chief executive Justin King.

Meanwhile analysts predict Morrisons, which last week launched a fresh round of price cuts, will report a fall in like-for-like sales for the last three months.

Barclays cut its target price for the supermarket, saying: “We are especially wary of the dangers of cutting the range by 20 per cent and of the planned £500m cut to the cost base.”

The corporate calendar starts today with reports from Aberdeen Asset Management, Barclays, Blinkx, Countrywide, Glencore Xstrata, Hiscox, Just Eat, JZ Capital Partners, Liberty Global and Macfarlane Group.

Tomorrow Carillion, Costain, Esure Group, Experian, G4S, GW Pharmaceuticals, HSBC, Imperial Tobacco Group, Inmarsat, JD Wetherspoon, Legal & General, Meggitt, Mithras Investment Trust, National Express Group, Numis, Quarto, Rightmove, Vertu and Wetherspoon will all update the market.

On Thursday Avocet Mining, Barclays, Barratt, Beazley, BT Group, Derwent London, IMI, Intu Properties, Morgan Sindall, Morrisons, Perform, Promethean World, Provident Financial, Prudential, Rangold Resources, RSA Insurance, Sage Group, Standard Chartered and SuperGroup will give figures.

Man Group and Tullett Prebon will both report on Friday.

In economic news, the UK’s services PMI data is due for release this morning, with more UK growth predicted.

Philip Rush of Nomura said: “A strong rise in the manufacturing PMI’s output component and the EC services survey suggest the services PMI may rebound in April, despite new business levels easing over the past several months. We forecast a return to 58.3.”

On Thursday the Bank of England will make a decision on interest rates under the revised forward guidance regime.

Economists expect no change in interest rates or quantitative easing.