Here’s our regular look at the FTSE 350 and a selection of other companies reporting from 21 to 25 March.
- We’ll find out if Saga’s end of year losses are in line with expectations
- We’ll be looking for updated forecasts from Next given the challenging conditions ahead
- CVS looks to keep capitalising on the boom in pet ownership
Saga, Full Year Results, Wednesday 23 March
Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst “There are a lot of spinning plates at Saga. The insurance business has been trading in-line with expectations, but we’d like some clarity on the impact of Financial Conduct Authority pricing rule changes, which have the potential to cause pricing volatility. Unsurprisingly, Saga’s travel business has been badly hurt by the pandemic which is partly why the group’s expecting to report a small underlying loss before tax for the full year as it was last reported that Saga’s cruise ships were 68% full. We’d like to see some progress on that front, but with ongoing uncertainty we’re not sure what to expect. The initial results from Saga’s brand relaunch have been positive, and next week should shed some light on how that’s going. Getting customers to engage with a new brand is costly on the marketing front, so there’ll be a focus on the effect on operating margins.”
CVS Group, Half Year Results, Thursday 24 March
Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst “There have already been some details on performance over the first half from this veterinary group, back in January’s trading statement. Perhaps no surprise, given the spike in pet ownership over lockdowns and subsequent demand for vet services, revenue and cash profits (EBITDA) should come in comfortably up on last year. More recently, the group’s acquisition of Quality Pet Care Ltd (The Vet) has come under scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It’s expected that a potential divestment of the entire business will be on the table, which would come at additional costs and wipe off around £11.3m of annual revenue.
More broadly, the group did well in 2021 to employ around 9% more vets than the prior year. It’s vitally important for the group’s success to be able to bring skilled professionals on board as the group grows. It’s been a tricky area in the past, so we’ll be watching closely for commentary on vacancy rates.”
Next, Full Year Results, Thursday 24 March
Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst “Next is in a more precarious position than some of its peers as it braves inflationary headwinds. As the cost of things like fuel and food increases, people have less to spend on new clothes. Next’s prices aren’t quite discount, but they’re not luxury either. This mid-range is a danger zone when customers start to pull back spending, so we’ll have a close eye on full-price sales trends for evidence of a slowdown. They’re expected to grow by 3% in the fourth quarter, bringing the total increase for the year to 7%. That’s thanks in large part to easier comparisons to the 2020 lockdowns. With pent up demand unwound and tougher comparisons ahead, all eyes will be on management to offer a realistic goalpost for the upcoming year.
The group’s been working to build its online offerings, extending its services to other brands. While this looks like the right move, it requires increased spending. At last check the group upped its capital expenditure spend by £55m to £190m. With so much uncertainty ahead, hopefully that will be the last upward revision.”
FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies scheduled to report
|No Reporting Companies|
|Carnival||Q1 Trading Update|
|Kingfisher||Full Year Results|
|Softcat||Half Year Results|
|Diversified Energy Company||Full Year Results|
|Petrofac||Full Year Results|
|Saga||Full Year Results|
|Next||Full Year Results|
|International Public Partnerships||Full Year Results|
|Bridgepoint Group||Full Year Results|
|CVS Group*||Half Year Results|
|United Utilities Group||Trading Statement|
|Smiths Group||Half Year Results|
|IMI||Full Year Results|
|Playtech||Full Year Results|
|John Wood Group||Full Year Results|
|Witan Investment Trust||Full Year Results|
|Temple Bar Investment Trust||Full Year Results|
|Baillie Gifford Japan Trust||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.