WM Morrison is tipped to beef up online plans


MORRISONS’ final figures will be in the spotlight this week as investors eagerly await the supermarket’s plans for future competition with its rivals.

Wm Morrison, the fourth largest UK supermarket, lagged behind its main competitors during the vital Christmas period.

Chief executive Dalton Philips has blamed the firms’ lack of online presence and convenience stores – a problem Morrisons has been addressing by buying up HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster sites. Market watchers will no doubt be waiting to hear more on Thursday about whether the supermarket aims to go online too.

Security group G4S is also set to reveal its end of year figures this week, and analysts believe the firm’s fortunes have improved since it hit the headlines because of its Olympics staffing fiasco.

Numis rated the firm a “buy” and said to expect solid results, especially after the sale of some US businesses.

“The UK Olympics contract loss has now been settled at around £80m and this has removed some uncertainty surrounding the shares, and fears of larger losses,” the analyst said.

In economics news, the week includes UK trade and manufacturing output figures and the RICS housing survey tomorrow and the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin on Thursday plus a speech by Spencer Dale, Bank of England chief economist, on Friday.

In the corporate calendar, full-year results are due today from Brady, Hansteen Holdings, Hydrogen Group and Soco International while Anite will update the market.

Tomorrow’s full-year figures are set to come from Antofagasta, Computacenter, Fresnillo, Gem Diamonds, Hill & Smith Holdings, Inchcape, Kenmare Resources, Quarto Group, SDL and Tyman. Close Brothers Group will give interim results while IG Group Holdings and St Ives Economics will also report.

On Wednesday Atrium Real Estate, Capital & Regional, Cello Group, French Connection Group, G4S, Glanbia, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Hochschild Mining, KBC Advanced Technologies, Prudential and Statpro Group will all give end-of-year figures. Meanwhile Thomas Cook Group, which last week announced cuts to its business, will give a trading update.

Thursday’s final results will come from F&C Asset Management, Fairpoint Group, Salamander Energy, Savills, Tribal Group, Trinity Mirror, TT Electronics and Wm Morrison. Air Partner and Home Retail Group will also report.

On Friday Rentokil Initial and Synthomer will announce final results while pubs giant JD Wetherspoon is set to deliver interim results.