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Is Smiths Group's medical unit demerger still on?

Tuesday's is sure to see a further smattering of updates from various companies about the effects of coronavirus on their business

Smiths Group -

Smiths Group PLC (LON:SMIN) is due to break a four-month-long silence on Tuesday, when it had been due to issue interim results but instead will publish a trading statement.

Although it "was ready" to release its interims on the scheduled date, following the Financial Conduct Authority's market-wide request for all fully listed companies to observe a moratorium on the publication of results until at least 6 April, the FTSE 100 group said it will release the full half-year numbers until then.

The engineer had predicted in its last update that the current financial year would be more weighted to the first half to end-January, which would have protected it from the coronavirus pandemic that hit markets from February onwards, though investors will expect to hear how the group has been doing lately.

Tuesday's update is likely to include information on the demerger of Smiths Medical, which had been expected to be completed by June.

Elsewhere, there are sure to be a further smattering of corporate updates from other companies about the effects of coronavirus on their business.

In economic data, there will be a release from the Office of National Statistics about the UK national debt from the end of last year. 

“We will be looking at the detailed balance sheet data to see whether firms continued to hoard cash and so have a bigger-than-usual buffer to whether the virus hit,” said economists at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

A UK consumer confidence report from Gfk is not likely to show a relatively small fall for March, mainly because the survey was done prior to the UK going into a full lockdown. 

“A much sharper drop in confidence is almost certainly in store for April,” said Capital Economics

Significant announcements expected on Tuesday 31 March:

InterimsGfinity PLC (LON:GFIN), James Halstead PLC (LON:JHD)

Trading updateSmiths Group PLC (LON:SMIN)

FinalsAnimalcare Group PLC (LON:ANCR), Henry Boot PLC (LON:BOOT), Luceco PLC (LON:LUCE), Michelmersh Brick Holdings Plc (ON:MBH), One Media IP Group PLC (LON:OMIP), The Property Franchise Group PLC (LON:TPFG), Proteome Sciences PLC (LON:PRM), Quixant PLC (LON:QXT), TP Group PLC (LON:TPG), Tremor International Ltd (LON:TRMR), Yu Group PLC (LON:YU.)

Economic data: UK consumer confidence, UK GDP, US Chicago PMI, US CPI

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