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Companies Reporting: Unilever, Rio Tinto, GSK, British Gas

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Our regular look at the FTSE 350 and a selection of other companies reporting from 03 – 07 July.

  • Can Unilever cling on to volumes?
  • Rio Tinto battles against weakening global demand
  • Will Arexvy prove a shot in the arm for GSK?
  • British Gas Energy set to fuel Centrica’s first-half performance

Unilever [LON:ULVR] Half Year Results, Tuesday 25 July

Matt Britzman, equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

“Unilever reports half-year earnings next week and markets are expecting a slight softening to what was a strong start to the year. Double-digit underlying sales growth over the first quarter beat expectations, driven by higher prices and resilient volumes. The consensus among analysts is for a larger decline in volumes over the second quarter, with underlying sales growth over the half expected to come in at 8.3%.


“Analysts will be particularly interested to see any progress on margins. Management was keen to point out the potential for easing cost pressures as we move through the year. Underlying operating margin in the first half is expected to be at least 16%, with analysts expecting 16.2% – that’s a key figure to watch for.

“In other news, noise around Unilever’s operations in Russia has grown louder recently with Ukraine adding the group to its list of war sponsors. Unilever has defended its motivations for continuing to operate in Russia, pointing to ongoing challenges involved with leaving the region. For now, this doesn’t look to be impacting operating performance.”

Rio Tinto [LON:RIO] Half Year Results, Wednesday 26 July

Matt Britzman, equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

“Recent production results were a mixed bag from Rio, where a less-than-impressive reopening in China and weakening global demand dominated the narrative. Expect next week’s half-year results to call out similar challenges and markets have already adjusted earnings estimates down in recent weeks.

“The post-lockdown recovery from China has been far from the boom many were expecting to see this year. Despite easing monetary policy, issues with the commercial real estate sector and a cautious consumer continue to keep a lid on growth. That’s weighed on Rio’s key product, iron ore, which has seen demand and pricing down, the latter of which took a 12% hit over the second quarter. It’s not just iron ore, the whole range of portfolio metals have seen prices come down this year. It’s not all doom and gloom though, it’s worth remembering prices are still pretty healthy across the board.”

GlaxoSmithKline [LON:GSK] Q2 Results, Wednesday 26 July

Derren Nathan, head of equity analysis, Hargreaves Lansdown:

“At GSK’s half-year health check, investors will be watching out for any changes to 2023 sales growth guidance, which currently stands at a range between 6% to 8% for non-COVID 19 medicines. This underpins targeted dividend pay-outs of 56.5p per share in the current financial year, a yield of about 4%. That’s an extra demand on the company’s cash resources, so focus will be on whether the group can return to generating free cash flow following an outflow in the first quarter.

“Recent months have seen some important milestones in the group’s vaccine portfolio, notably European and US approval for Arexvy, a first-in-class vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The market will be keen to receive a steer on the patient uptake so far. Investor sentiment has responded favourably to GSK’s first legal settlement over safety concerns for heartburn medication, Zantac, and next week provides a further opportunity to quantify the scale of any further liability.”

Centrica [LON:CNA] Half Year Results, Thursday 27 July

Aarin Chiekrie, equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

“Back in June, British Gas owner, Centrica, gave a positive update on the first five months of the year. Thanks to increased allowances in the UK domestic tariff cap, the British Gas Energy division is expected to report significantly higher operating profits than in previous years. The majority of these tailwinds should be felt in the first half of the year, so investors are keen to see just how far the dial’s been moved in next week’s results.

“The Energy Marketing & Trading division was a star money-maker for the group last year. This is the trading arm of Centrica, which benefits from energy price volatility. But the forces driving the recent outperformance of this division are cyclical and can’t be relied upon forever. Given the pullback in commodity prices this year, keen eyes will be looking at how well trading’s holding up here. A poor performance could put full-year earnings per share guidance, expected to be towards the top end of the 16.5p-24.7p range, under pressure.”

This article has been brought to you in association with Hargreaves Lansdown. All opinions expressed in this article are from the analysts and do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Armchair Trader.

FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies scheduled to report

24-Jul
Cranswick Q1 Trading Statement
DiscoverIE Group Q1 Trading Statement
Games Workshop Full Year Results
Moneysupermarket Half Year Results
Vodafone Q1 Trading Statement
25-Jul
Alphabet Q2 Results
Bridgepoint Group Half Year Results
Compass Group Q3 Trading Statement
Croda International Half Year Results
JTC Q1 Trading Statement
LVMH Half Year Results
Microsoft Q4 Results
Mitie Group Q1 Trading Statement
SThree Half Year Results
Tyman Half Year Results
Unilever Half Year Results
Unite Group Half Year Results
Verizon Q2 Results
Visa Q3 Results
26-Jul
British American Tobacco Half Year Results
Centamin Half Year Results
Coca-Cola Q2 Results
Elementis Half Year Results
FDM Group Half Year Results
Fresnillo Q2 Production Report
GSK Q2 Results
Lloyds Banking Group Half Year Results
Meta Platforms Q2 Results
Primary Health Properties Half Year Results
Rathbones Q2 Results
Reckitt Benckiser Group Half Year Results
RHI Magnesita Half Year Results
Rio Tinto Half Year Results
27-Jul
Airtel Africa Q1 Results
Anglo American Half Year Results
Barclays Half Year Results
Beazely Q2 Trading Statement
Britvic Q3 Trading Statement
BT Group Q1 Trading Statement
Centrica Half Year Results
CMC Markets Q1 Trading Statement
Drax Group Half Year Results
Greencoat UK Wind Half Year Results
Frasers Full Year Results
Hammerson Half Year Results
Inchcape Half Year Results
Indivior Half Year Results
Informa Half Year Results
ITV Half Year Results
Jupiter Fund Management Half Year Results
McDonald’s Q2 Results
Mobico Group Half Year Results
Nestle Half Year Results
Relx Half Year Results
Rentokil Initial Half Year Results
RS Group Q1 Trading Statement
Sage Group Q3 Trading Statement
Schroders Half Year Results
SEGRO Half Year Results
Shell Q2 Results
St James’s Place Half Year Results
Vesuvius Half Year Results
28-Jul
AstraZeneca Q2 Results
Chevron Q2 Results
IMI Half Year Results
International Consolidated Airlines Half Year Results
Intertek Group Half Year Results
Morgan Advanced Materials Half Year Results
NatWest Group Half Year Results
Paragon Banking Group Q3 Trading Statement
Rightmove Half Year Results
Standard Chartered Half Year Results
Vanquis Banking Group Half Year Results

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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