Let’s pretend for a moment that Thursday morning’s news agenda is going to be about something other than Brexit, the spotlight would then be on outsourcing services contractor Capita, UK property firms and others.
Thursday morning will bring the fall-out from Wednesday evening’s ‘no deal’ vote in Westminster, so amid the many headlines attentions will be on macro matters.
For corporate news, meanwhile, there’s Capita.
After an eventful 2018, mid-cap outsourcing group Capita PLC (LON:CPI) should deliver results in line with consensus, although analysts at UBS expect 2019 to also be challenging. The Swiss bank’s analysts expect the FTSE 250-listed firm to post full-year adjusted pre-tax profit of £255mln, at the low-end of the guidance range of £250mln-£275mln.
They will be looking for an update on Capita’s progress with cost savings, believing the company is well on track for £70mln savings this year and £175mln in total by full-year 2020, as well as on challenging contracts, and reinvestment plans.
The UBS analysts expect 2019 to represent another year of declining organic growth and further cash burn but still anticipate Capita reiterating its 2020 target of £200mln in adjusted free cashflow.
Nothing new from Savills
No surprises are expected from estate agent Savills PLC (LON:SVS) when it reports its finals on Thursday, having said in a January update that 2018 would be in line with expectations after a “robust” final quarter.
What’s more likely to hold investor attention is the gloomy picture the firm painted of the coming year, having previously said it was bracing itself for declines in transaction volumes in a number of markets.
The company has already said it is expecting a fairly flat performance year-on-year for 2019, so any shift in this prediction will either bring relief or misery for investors.
Analysts at UBS are forecasting Savils to report underlying pre-tax profits of £141mln and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of 72.8p.
DFS Furniture hopes to keep sitting pretty
Overall, gross like-for-like sales growth in the period was 29% and the company left its full-year guidance unchanged in the January update, so investors will likely be watching for any deviation from that previous outlook when the interims are released on Thursday.
DFS also said at that time that it was “mindful of the risk of near-term political and economic uncertainty”. Given that Brexit has crept much closer since then, there could be an update on any potential macro fallout.
Cineworld investors hope for blockbuster 2018
In a trading statement in January, the world’s second-largest cinema chain Cineworld PLC (LON:CINE) said a record 308mln people had packed into its theatres in 2018, helping its US business rake in US$3.5bn.
Investors will likely be looking for some more healthy numbers in its full-year results on Thursday after the group said total revenues had grown 4.8% in the year.
However, there may be one sticking point in Cineworld’s UK arm, which saw revenue decline by 0.6% in the period on the back of fewer visitors.
Any indication of this trend continuing, or the possibility of a turnaround will be closely eyed.
Thursday March 14:
Finals: Capita PLC (LON:CPI), Cineworld PLC (LON:CINE), Savills PLC (LON:SVS), Marshalls PLC (LON:MSLH), Just Group PLC (LON:JUST), Capital & Regional PLC (LON:CAL), Capital Drilling Ltd. (LON:CAPD), Oxford Biomedica PLC (LON:OXB), Oakley Capital Investments PLC (LON:OCI)
Economic data: RICS UK housing market survey; US retail sales; US weekly jobless claims; US import, export prices