As well as trading updates from easyJet, Dixons Carphone, Joules and others, a busy Tuesday also will see Wall Street reopen after a long weekend and the release of UK labour market data.
Bookending all that will be a Bank of Japan policy decision and some of the main events at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, including a speech from US president Donald Trump.
The UK jobs data, as its main focus is November's unemployment and wage growth, is not as ferociously anticipated as post-election data that is due at the end of the week.
The market’s increased anticipation of a Bank of England interest rate cut at next week’s meeting has led to the pound losing most of its gains since the general election.
Easy does it
A first-quarter statement from easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) will contain little financial detail but the crumbs are expected to be comforting for investors who already seem pleased by the budget airline’s return to the blue chip list last month.
Capacity growth is predicted to be up 1.8% and passenger growth up 2.0%, said analysts at Peel Hunt, resulting in a slightly improved load factor.
December a year ago was hit by more than 400 flight cancellations at Gatwick due to a mysterious drone, which led to revenues being reduced by £5mln and costs increasing £10mln.
“Against these softer comps and excluding holiday revenue, we expect revenue per seat to rise by 4%, within the guidance range of low to mid single digits,” the analysts said.
Management have guided to increased cost per seat in low single digits, while fuel costs will be under the microscope after recent rises.
There may be some details on the performance of the new Holidays business in its first month of trading, while Peel Hunt was looking to hear about progress in optimising the schedule at Berlin Tegel ahead of the planned transfer to Berlin Brandenberg airport scheduled for October.
Dixons Carphone on the right path?
The post-Christmas retail updates continue to flow, with electronics specialist Dixons Carphone PLC (LON:DC.) also in the headlines over the weekend that boss Alex Baldock is still struggling, two years into the job and may try and prop things up by merging with German electricals rival Ceconomy.
Baldock has been trying to reboot the company and looking to reduce its debt mountain while also battling a tough mobile market.
Net debt swelled 83% to £1.5bn in the six months to 26 October, though losses before tax shrank 80% to £86mln as the retailer said it would cut more debt than expected this year by delaying some IT spending and from negotiating lower rents.
Despite the challenging market, Baldock aims to break even by 2022, with £90mln losses in 2021.
Analyst Sophie Lund-Yates at Hargreaves Lansdown said the reboot is part of Dixons’ “drive to offer an experience not just a shop”, with store remodelling giving more space to ‘experience zones’ and have face-to-face interactions with product specialists which "online rivals can’t match”.
She hailed an average reduction in rent of 30% a year and Baldock’s confidence that this year will be the trough before a gradual recovery kicks in.
Posh Joules slumming it
Joules Group PLC (LON:JOUL) sells its wellies to an upscale country crowd but its post-Christmas stocking warning earlier this month sees the shares slumming it at their lowest in four and a half years.
The update, which led to a chunky guidance downgrade, was sparked by a drop in festive online sales due to available stock not matching demand.
Interim numbers on Tuesday, however, are covering the six months to 24 November when Joules had been one of the top performers on Black Friday but should be fairly flat overall, as flagged in December.
Wholesale revenues were hit by last year's deliberate switch of two major accounts, Next Label and John Lewis, from wholesale to retail concession models to provide more "control over brand execution, product assortment and trading flexibility", so now the division is mostly made up by independents.
Significant events expected on Tuesday January 21:
Economic data: UK unemployment