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Hargreaves Lansdown look ahead to the FTSE 350 companies reporting from 15 to 19 March

  • Greggs will show how the pandemic has taken a huge bite out of their sales
  • EMIS have already given us a lot of detail on results which makes sales of recently launched EMIS-X our main focus
  • Fevertree will tell us how a second half recovery impacted margins
  • Ocado should offer an update on its spending plans as it builds out more robotic fulfilment centres
  • JD Wetherspoon will show how severely lockdown 3 has impeded its recovery

Greggs [LON:GRG], Full Year Results, Tuesday 16 March

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst

“The pandemic tore a chunk off Greggs’ sales and in January the company said it was expecting a full year loss of up to £15 million. Greggs doesn’t expect a return to pre-covid levels of operations until 2022 at the earliest. The company has tried to adapt its operations to keep up with the nation’s changing snacking habits by rolling out click and collect and a delivery service. It heated up its expansion programme by opening new stores in locations like retail parks which can be easily accessed by car, which have not suffered with declines in footfall as much as other areas. Vaccine rolls outs seem to have given investors confidence that it will bring home the bacon once more as the recovery continues, but the share price is still 11% below its level at the start of the pandemic. Flaky sales are likely to continue into the second half of 2021, given lockdown 3 but at the last reading Greggs had a buoyant net cash position of £37 million and a three year £100 million revolving credit facility which should help it stay resilient until trade bounces back in town and city centres.’’

EMIS Group [LON:EMIS], Full Year Results, Thursday 18 March

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst

“While EMIS has seen some disruption to sales during 2020, the group has generally weathered the pandemic pretty well. As a provider of essential IT services to GP surgeries and community pharmacies, its products have been crucial throughout the crisis. That means revenues and profits are likely to have held up well for the year, and instead our main focus will be on the roll-out of EMIS-X. This is EMIS’s next generation of its core product – providing NHS organisations with better access to and understanding of their patient data. Success here, could not only help the group grow its community pharmacy base, but may justify a higher price from existing GP customers. In the meantime, a robustly cash generative business model, and net cash on the balance sheet, means the group should be well positioned to continue growing shareholder returns.”

Fevertree Drinks [LON:FEVR], Full Year Results, Thursday 18 March

Will Ryder, equity analyst

“In a January trading update Fevertree described its 2020 performance as “resilient”. Total revenue was down 3% to £252.1m as strong growth in the US and the Rest of the World offset a 22% fall in UK revenue. This is an improvement on the first half, but we suspect the current round of lockdowns will have similarly impacted early trading for the new financial year. Commentary on recent trading will be particularly useful. The overall picture last year was of falling sales in bars and restaurants with supermarkets and e-commerce more less picking up the slack. For example, in the UK, which remains Fevertree’s largest revenue contributor, bar and restaurant sales fell around 60% in 2020, while shop and e-commerce sales rose around 20%. Changes in sales channels have also depressed margins. In the first half of the year Fevertree’s sales fell 11% and cash profits (adjusted EBITDA) fell 35% as sales shifted from bars to shops. Investors will be hoping this dynamic plays out in reverse as sales recover. We’ll be looking for evidence of this in next week’s results.”

Ocado Group [LON:OCDO], Q1 Trading Statement, Thursday 18 March

Laura Hoy, equity analyst

“Ocado posted impressive sales growth last year, as pandemic-fuelled online shopping continued. Not much has changed since then—with high streets looking more like ghost-towns these days, we expect sales at Ocado continued with vigour. The group’s spending during the first three months of the year will attract attention after management upped capital expenditure forecast to $700m for the year. Developing robotic fulfilment centres for third-party customers will account for most of that figure as Ocado builds out its reputation as an end-to-end online grocery platform. Fulfilment technology is expensive to get off the ground, and accounting rules mean that although Ocado has inked contracts to build, the revenue from these sites isn’t recognized until they’re up and running. It will take time to find out whether the massive outlays pay off, and given Ocado’s valuation they need to deliver rich rewards. The group will also have to convince investors that demand for the expensive fulfilment centres is still strong. With the end of lockdown in sight the e-commerce boom will likely lose steam, leaving supermarket execs faced with the dilemma of whether to spend big on a robotic fulfilment centre that will take years to pay off, or simply improve their current in-store picking technology for a fraction of the cost.”

JD Wetherspoon [LON:JDW], Half Year Results, Friday 19 March

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst

“The pandemic has severely upended Wetherspoon’s business model, which has been focused on pulling in high numbers of punters by keeping prices low. Inevitably lockdowns have hurt hard but even when restrictions have eased, social distancing and the bar ordering ban has severely limited numbers inside its pubs. The company called time on its cash flow crisis in January, raising £93.7 million through another rights issue, the second time it has gone cap in hand to shareholders during the pandemic. As well as providing a fresh financial buffer the company planned to use some of this cash to hoover up prime locations vacated by struggling rivals. It was a sign of optimism that pent up demand would deliver a swift recovery, but the phased re-opening of the hospitality industry will have come as another set-back for the company. Indoor drinking and eating won’t be able to resume until May 17th at the earliest. Its airport business is also likely to continue to stay depressed with global travel not expected to fully rebound until 2023. The extension of the VAT cut to 5% and the furlough scheme will provide some short-term relief, but we may find that Wetherspoon’s appetite for acquisition may have waned a little as it continues to navigate through the crisis.”


  • HgCapital Trust Full Year Results


  • Antofagasta Full Year Results
  • C&C Trading Statement
  • Close Brothers Half Year Results
  • Computacenter Full Year Results
  • Elementis Full Year Results
  • Ferguson Half Year Results
  • Greggs Full Year Results
  • John Wood Full Year Results
  • Just Group Full Year Results
  • Polypipe Full Year Results
  • TI Fluid Systems Full Year Results
  • Unite Group Full Year Results


  • Capita Full Year Results
  • Ferrexpo Full Year Results


  • 888 Holdings Full Year Results
  • EMIS* Full Year Results
  • Fevertree* Full Year Results
  • National Express Full Year Results
  • Ocado* Q1 Trading Statement
  • OneSavings Bank Full Year Results
  • Vectura Full Year Results


  • ContourGlobal Full Year Results
  • Investec Trading Statement
  • JD Wetherspoon Half Year Results
  • Sanne* Full Year Results


This article is 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.


Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Michael Morton

Michael Morton

Michael has worked within the Financial Industry for more than 20 years. Starting out as a financial analyst, he has extensive experience working with fund management groups and brokerages.

With an interest in Stocks and Shares, Funds, ETFs and Commodities, his investment focus is medium to long term gains, with the objective of financial security on retirement, and building wealth for his young children for their adult life. His broker of choice is Hargreaves Lansdown.

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