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Will Easyjet keep to its guidance in Friday’s first-half results?

The airline shocked the market last month, so investors will be looking for some reassurance in the interim report
easyjet plane
Software giant Sage, drugmaker Hikma and chrome producer Afarak are also due up tomorrow

Easyjet PLC (LON:EZJ) investors will be hoping for some more positive news in Friday’s first-half results after last month’s gloomy update sent the stock tumbling.

The budget airline warned of a £275mln loss in the first six months of its financial year, thanks in part to a steep rise in fuel costs.

Uncertainty from Brexit hasn’t helped, although now that has been rolled over for another few months at least, it will be interesting to see if it has been a boost or a burden.

“The group can’t control how Brexit might disrupt the industry, or how much it has to pay for the fuel that fills the tanks, but it can help protect the bottom line by policing more controllable costs,” said Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst George Salmon.

“Easyjet’s underlying costs per seat have been resolutely inching up so it’d be encouraging to see signs the group can halt, or even reverse, that trend.”

The outlook will be closely eyed too, and the market will hope that Easyjet still expects revenue per seat to rise in the second half after a 7.4% drop in the first half.

Second half slowdown at Sage?

Software giant Sage Group PLC (LON:SGE) is also due to report its half-year numbers on Friday.

The company, which makes accounting software for businesses, said it made a “strong start” to its financial year when it last updated the market back in January.

That has sent the share price higher in recent months, but analysts at Barclays recently warned that a second-half slowdown “seems likely”. Shareholders will be praying that isn’t the case.

Afarak investors braced for bad news

Investors already know what Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK) will say in its first-quarter update thanks to a brief update earlier in the week.

The chrome producer warned that its performance in the opening three months of the year will be “below market expectations”.

It blamed the shortfall on the ferrochrome price, which has fallen in response to weaker demand for steel from China.

Significant events expected on Friday:       

Interims: Future PLC (LON:FUTR), easyJet PLC (LON:EZY), Sage Group PLC (LON:SGE)

Trading updates: Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK), Afarak PLC (Q1) (LON:AFRK), Jersey Electricity PLC (LON:JEL)

AGMs: Bango PLC (LON:BGO), Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK), Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN)

Economic data: US University of Michigan consumer sentiment index

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