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Kingfisher and Tate & Lyle key names in diary as spotlight falls on UK consumer

Kingfisher, Tate & Lyle, Talk Talk Telecoms and United Utilities are among the stand-out names in Thursday's schedule.
B&Q store
B&Q parent has been working hard to overhaul its business

Eyes will be firmly on the British consumer and high street, not least as Thursday brings economic stats in the form of UK retail sales.

Beyond the macroeconomic figures, the City also has updates in the diary from B&Q parent Kingfisher along with food and ingredients business Tate & Lyle Plc (LON:TATE).

Of course the capacity for consumers to spend is also significant for Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK), which is also due to update the market too.

Kingfisher first-quarter sales weak too

Kingfisher has been working hard to overhaul the business but these efforts have been undermined by an overall weakness in the UK retail market.

The company, which owns Screwfix as well as B&Q, reports its first-quarter trading update on Thursday and investors will be hoping for an update on the progress of its five-year restructuring plan, which is now in its third year.

In the year to the end of January 2018, Kingfisher’s pre-tax profit fell 8.1% to £683mln on and like-for-like sales dropped 0.7% as growth at Screwfix and its Poland businesses were offset by a decline in France and slowdown in fourth quarter sales in the UK.

The market expects the weak trends to continue in the first quarter due to an unfavourable external backdrop, according to Deutsche Bank. The German lender anticipates a 3.5% drop in Kingfisher’s like-for-like sales for the quarter.

“Industry data in France for the first two months of the quarter, as well as UK peers which have reported, suggest a combination of weak seasonal and also slowing core DIY sales,” the bank said.

Deutsche added: “Once through what is likely to be a difficult Q1 release, the next news is the Wesfarmers strategic review on 7 June. This could very likely free up market share in the UK for B&Q.”

Sweet numbers from Tate & Lyle?

Mid-cap ingredients group Tate & Lyle publishes its final results on Thursday and investors will be looking for some sweet news.

However, following the release of first-quarter results from North American competitor Ingredion Inc (NYSE:INGR) at the start of May, analysts at Liberum thought that the impact on Ingredion’s operating profit of higher freight and production costs in the region will also impact Tate & Lyle and could weigh on its results and outlook for the coming year.

The results will be the first for new chief financial officer Imran Nawaz, who succeeded Nick Hampton after he was made chief executive of the company in April.

Thursday May 24:

Trading updates: Kingfisher PLC (Q1) (LON:KGF), Go-Ahead Group PLC (Q3) (LON:GOG), Inchcape PLC (Q1) (LON:INCH), Intertek Group PLC (Q1) (LON:ITRK)

AGMs: Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY)

Finals: United Utilities PLC (LON:UU.), Tate & Lyle PLC (LON:TATE), Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK), Electrocomponents PLC (LON:ECM), Helical Bar PLC (LON:HLCL), Mediclinic International Plc (LON:MDC), NewRiver REIT plc (LON:NRR), QinetiQ Group PLC (LON:QQ.), Renewi PLC (LON:RWI), Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ

Interims: Daily Mail & General Trust PLC (LON:DMGT), Paragon Banking Group PLC (LON:PAG), Shoe Zone PLC (LON:SHOE)

Ex-dividends: To clip 3.2 points off FTSE 100 – Bunzl PLC (LON:BNZL), Carnival PLC (LON:CCL), DCC Plc (LON:DCC), Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB), Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW), Whitbread plc (LON:WTB)

Economic data: UK retail sales; US weekly jobless; US existing home sales

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