After the numerous, and sometimes headline-grabbing Christmas updates last week, this week looks set to be just as busy, with retailers including Argos, Dixons and Primark revealing their performances over the golden quarter.

Who: Halfords

When: Tuesday

Period: Third quarter trading

What to expect: It will be the first update to the City from new Halfords boss Matt Davies, who took the helm of the cycle and car parts specialist late last year.  The retailer reported a surprisingly strong second quarter when like-for-likes rose 4.6%, against a 7.5% decline the prior quarter. Oriel Securities analyst Jonathan Pritchard expects the positive like-for-likes to continue into the golden quarter and a top of the range outcome for the financial year to be confirmed. Cycles will have been important over the Christmas period and the retailer has ramped up its kids bike offer in time for the boom.

 

Who: Burberry

When: Tuesday

Period: Third quarter to December 31.

What to expect: Consensus is that Burberry will reveal retail like-for-likes up 2% over the period, despite the tough comparatives last year.  The retailer is expected to have overcome the slowdown the luxury-sector experienced in September has proved to be just a blip according to Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert.

 

Who: Ocado

When: Tuesday

Period: Christmas trading

What to expect: The surge in online shopping over the festive period should be beneficial for Ocado and should continue the strong momentum in the run-up for Christmas. Total sales increased 11% over the 14 weeks to November 11 and were up 13.7% in the final six weeks of the period. The lack of snow or adverse weather conditions over Christmas is likely to have played into the etailers’ hands. Ocado usually sells out all of its delivery slots at Christmas and will have had to manage its capacity carefully. Chief executive Tim Steiner said last year: “Christmas is always a nervous time as a grocery retailer. There’s limited upside as we always sell Christmas out. We need to make sure we do the best for our most loyal customers and make sure they get the best slots rather than those new to the Ocado revolution.”

 

Who: N Brown

When: Wednesday

Period: 19 weeks to January 12

What to expect: N Brown surprised with strong growth in the six weeks to October 13 when like-for-likes advanced 10.1%. Investec analyst Bethany Hocking said: “We don’t expect trading to have continued at the same level, given the 6 weeks to mid-October were helped by a number of factors, including some very favourable weather. Nevertheless it does appear that online retailers have had a generally good Christmas. We pencil in 5%

 

Who: Thorntons

When: Wednesday

Period: Christmas trading

The chocolatier will report on a crucial Christmas trading period as chief executive Jonathan Hart looks to turnaround the retailer and manufacturer. The retailer is up against soft comparatives after it reported a worse-than-expected fall in like-for-like sales of 4.2% over Christmas last year.

 

Who: Primark owner Associated British Foods

When: Thursday

Period: First quarter interim management statement

What to expect: If sales of its Christmas jumpers were anything to go by, Primark had a strong festive period. And the fact that Debenhams boss Michael Sharp said it was one of the most promotional Christmas’ ever, plays into the hands of value players such as Primark. But will its lack of an online offer have hurt it, given that store sales across the sector were weak this Christmas while online proved more popular than ever?

 

Who: Asos

When: Thursday

Period: Christmas trading

What to expect:  Asos’ update comes off the back of strong online trading at Next, Debs and Ted Baker which has led Oriel Securities to forecast 30% sales growth at the young fashion etailer. Margins are expected to remain flattish as lowered prices in its own brand product should be offset by the two less Sale days it had over the festive period.

 

Who: Mothercare

When: Thursday

Period:  Third quarter trading

What to expect:  Despite like-for-likes creeping into growth for the first time in 10 quarters, chief executive Simon Calver was eager to tell people not to expect a bumper Christmas. Panmure Gordon is forecasting a UK like-for-like fall of 5.5%, as the retailer faces tougher comparables due to deep discounting last Christmas that drove sales.

 

Who: Home Retail

When: Thursday

Period: Interim management statement for September 2 to January 5th

What to expect: Argos, which is the UK’s largest toy retailer, updates the market on its critical Christmas trading performance. With multichannel options so popular this Christmas, Argos was well placed to take advantage.  However, despite Argos reversing its trend of declining like-for-likes – they were up 0.6% in the first half – broker Barclays estimates they will have fallen 1% and sister retailer Homebase will be down by 1.5% over Christmas.

 

Who: Dixons

When: Thursday

Period: 12 weeks to January 5

What to expect: The City will be looking to see what affect the Closing Down Sales of Comet had on the business over Christmas. There is a chance that, as administrators flogged stock at discount prices, Dixons could have been negatively impacted. But the trend for tech products including e-readers and tablets should have ensured Dixons put in a good overall performance over the festive period.