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Here’s our regular look at the FTSE 350 and a selection of other companies reporting from 13 to 17 December

  • Can Ocado rebound following a fulfilment centre fire than hurt third quarter trading
  • Inditex will let us know how well it’s bridging the pandemic sales gap
  • Currys looks to build on strong momentum following last month’s trading statement

Ocado, Trading Statement, Tuesday 14 December

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Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst “Third quarter results were dented by the impact of a fire at one of the fulfilment centres. Estimates put the net cost at around £10m and we’ll be hoping that’s the last we hear on it. Prior to the fire, revenue last quarter was down 1.8%, largely because of the bumper 2020 period it’s compared to. Next week’s fourth quarter numbers face another tough comparable period, with 2020 revenue growth of 35% to content with. With the all-important Christmas season upon us, and competition growing, we’d like to see some strong numbers. We’ll also be watching out for commentary on how rising costs of labour are impacting trading. Last we heard; the group was expecting up to £5m in additional costs as it raises wages to attract new staff.  The larger growth story comes from the Solutions business. Charging third parties to use the group’s robotic systems. But Ocado [LON:OCDO] needs to sign new partners to make the business profitable. We may have to wait until full year results in early 2022 for more information, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for any commentary next week. Whatever the results, with a price-sales ratio some way above its long-term average, pressure’s on to deliver good news.”

Currys, Half Year Results, Wednesday 15 December

Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst “At the start of November, Currys [LON:CURY] said it’s on track to report full year pre-tax profit of £161m, in-line with expectations. Next week’s results will give us a little more detail on operational performance. We’ll be keeping a close eye on whether profits are still in line with expectations, any wobble on the downside could impact markets. The bar has been set high, with half-year sales up 15% compared to pre-pandemic numbers. And the group’s expecting a ‘robust peak trading season’ over Christmas. We’d like to know if early indications are still positive on that front. Online sales have been a big success story, more than doubling over the pandemic. Innovations like ShopLive, allowing customers to get video help at home, have led the way. But online margins are lower, and the group needs to make improvements if it’s to hit the operating margin target of 4% by 2023/24.”

Inditex, Third Quarter Results, Wednesday 15 December

Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst “At the half year, Zara owner Inditex [BME:ITX] said its Autumn/Winter collections were being well received, and sales were returning to normal levels. All else being equal, that bodes well for third quarter numbers next week. Specifically, we’ll be looking to see if the group’s managed to fully bridge the sales gap from the pandemic. Last we heard; sales were a not-too-shabby 5.5% behind pre-pandemic levels. We’d like to know if continued momentum has brought the group closer. We’ll be looking out for the outlook statement too. For all the impressive trading, we shouldn’t forget Inditex is very much a global bricks and mortar retailer, which means decreased footfall and/or increased social distancing measures hurt. We wonder if news of rising Covid cases is cause for management to sound a warning for the coming months.”

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

No Reporters
OcadoTrading Statement
Chemring GroupFull Year Results
Bmo Global Smaller CompaniesHalf Year Results
CurrysHalf Year Results
InditexThird Quarter Results
Serco GroupTrading Statement
IntegraFin HoldingsFull Year Results
PetrofacTrading Statement
No Reporters

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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