A slew of major retailers report this week – notably Tesco – which will give a good idea of the temperature out there in the industry.
Tesco full-year numbers
All eyes will be on the grocer’s full-year numbers on Wednesday as boss Dave Lewis continues with his attempts to revive the business. The signs have been encouraging of late as Tesco unveiled a 1.3% rise in Christmas like-for-likes, while latest Kantar figures also showed an improvement.
But Tesco remains a big ship to turn around. Lewis has been attempting to help the bottom line by stripping back non-core assets, most recently its Nutricentre business. But for Lewis the job is far from done, especially from an investors’ point of view, as the share price is still about half what it was five years ago.
Asos reports interims
The keenly watched fashion etailer reports interims on Tuesday. It comes off the back of not unexpected news last week that it has shut down its operations in China. After a much-heralded launch in 2013 Asos has decided to pull the plug in a move that will cost £10m. It proves once again that foreign missions for retailers can be perilious, particularly in a difficult market such as China. Pressure will now be on new-ish boss Nick Beighton to steady the ship. However, analysts’ forecasts suggest half-year sales will be up a healthy 22%.
WHSmith half-year results
The books and stationery retailer will unveil half-year results on Wednesday and will be looking to build on a 2% rise in like-for-likes over Christmas. Analysts expect its pre-tax profits to be up, from about £73m last year to £78.5m, as cost-savings continue to boost the bottom line.
Mothercare fourth-quarter numbers
The retailer’s recovery is expected to have gathered pace, helped by online sales overseas. The evidence will come in fourth-quarter numbers unveiled on Thursday.
JD Sports preliminary results
Preliminary results will come on Thursday, with the sports retailer’s impressive progress expected to continue. While its performance may not be as outstanding as last year, analysts suggest conditions remain perfect for the Bury-based group – in part helped by the ongoing tribulations of its main rival Sports Direct, which has been distracted by plenty of negative headlines generated by its maverick boss Mike Ashley.
Poundland fourth-quarter numbers
Competition in the value retail sector is becoming increasingly fierce and Poundland has not been immune to the effects. Poundland’s like-for-likes are expected to remain down when it reports fourth-quarter numbers on Thursday. However, total sales will be boosted by the inclusion of 99p Stores, which it acquired last September. Outgoing boss Jim McCarthy will be hoping to leave on a high. But his successor Kevin O’Byrne, the former B&Q boss who joins in July, is likely to be the one who reaps the rewards when like-for-likes are expected to turn positive next financial year. Plans for a multi-price format launch also remain in place.
Debenhams half-year results
The department store chain will unveil half-year results on Thursday, which comes off the back of a 1.9% lift in Christmas like-for-likes. However, with management uncertainty – it has yet to name a replacement for Michael Sharp – analysts are not expecting any big announcements.
Other retailers to update will be ScS on Tuesday and Halfords on Wednesday.
The week that was
Last week the headlines were dominated by new M&S boss Steve Rowe, who admitted its general merchandise results remain “unsatisfactory”. It also emerged that Debenhams retail director Mike Goring has quit as the chain merges its online and retail operations.