FTSE 350 Look Ahead: Berkeley, Halfords, Melrose And More

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Look ahead to FTSE 350, other companies reporting & economic events from 5 – 9 September 2022

  • Berkeley (LON:BKG) will reveal whether they are still confident about delivering on their earning ambitions
  • Barratt Development (LON:BDEV) will show the impact cost inflation has had on margins
  • It will be seen whether Halfords’ (LON:HFD) shift from non-essential products to motoring services has been successful
  • Analysts are expecting operating profit to fall by a quarter for Melrose (LON:MRO)
  • Vistry (LON:VTY) anticipates ‘significant’ margin progress over the year, half-year results should shed light on how that’s progressing

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Berkeley Group, Trading Statement, Tuesday 6 September

Steve Clayton, Fund Manager, HL Select:

“Berkeley Group updates on trading for the first four months of its financial year when it holds its AGM on Tuesday Sep 6.

The group is one of the UK’s leading home developers, specialising in London and the South of England, with an upmarket product range selling, on average, for around twice the national house price.

When they last commented, back in June, Berkeley was boasting of being in a great position to deliver on their ambitions, but mindful of the challenges facing the economy currently. The business sells a substantial proportion of its output to landlords, often overseas based.

This should provide some resilience since these investors are unlikely to be fretting over their gas bills. But the challenges of managing cost pressures are only intensifying and the labour shortage is still very real.

Next weeks’ update will give investors a clearer view of how well Berkeley is coping with the pressures and whether they feel confident enough to reiterate their existing guidance for earnings of £545m in the current financial year.”

Barratt Developments, Full Year Results, Wednesday 7 September

Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst:

“Housebuilder Barratt Development recently told the market that full year underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be around £1bn, slightly ahead of market expectations. This comes as home completions move past pre-pandemic levels for the full year, but below guidance given at the half year mark.

There are a few headwinds, though. Barratt is currently facing build cost inflation between 9-10%, ahead of the roughly 6% felt through the year. Next week management are expected to provide an update on cost inflation for the upcoming year, so it will be revealed what impact this could have on margins.

Another concern comes in the form of demand. Higher mortgage costs and a slump in consumer confidence could begin to slow the demand for housing. The forward order book remains in a strong position for now, but any update on how these factors could impact demand would be welcomed.”

Halfords, Trading Statement, Wednesday 7 September

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst:

“Consumers are shifting gears away from non-essential expenditure amid the escalating cost-of-living crisis, and this is an increasing challenge for Halfords bike sales which have already shown signs of a slow puncture.

That’s why a keen eye will be trained, in this trading update, on the company’s pivot towards motoring services. This needs to accelerate to try and keep the group more insulated from a decline in discretionary spending.

The success of the company’s new ‘Mobile Expert’ offer shows what the combination of the right product, and staff skills can achieve if delivered effectively.

Growth here is impressive and if margins can pick up, it offers great potential particularly for cross-selling into the company’s Autocentres business.

Both Autocentre MOTs and Mobile Experts can be booked directly from the retail website which should help the group make the most of its large retail customer base and shift the group towards services which are desperately needed, rather than products which are simply desired.’’

Melrose Industries, Half Year Results, Thursday 8 September

Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

“Melrose’s success has been built on turning around engineering businesses. We heard earlier in the year that Automotive, its biggest business, remained sluggish due to supply constraints while Aerospace, its second largest business, continued to grow.

While next week will reveal what impact this has had, analysts are expecting operating profit to fall 25% from the previous year to £166m.

Melrose also updated the market on GNK Aerospace, their largest acquisition of $4bn in 2018. The upgrade in medium-term operating margin target is positive, but it will be good to hear a further update on how the restructuring of the GNK Aerospace business is coming along.

Investors will be paying attention to any potential shareholder returns. Their £500m share buyback should be ending by the 31 October, so a close eye will be kept on any announcement for what’s next.”

Vistry, Half Year Results, Thursday 8 September

Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

“It’s been a strong start to the year for Vistry, and July’s trading statement gave markets a sense of what’s to come in next week’s half year results.

Demand was strong across the first half and despite a mountain of wider uncertainties, margins are expected to push on over the year. Next week should shed light on how much progress has been made so far, with analysts expecting pre-tax profit of £184m.

Vistry’s partnership business, which works with local authorities and housing associations, has been a strong performer of late.

The introduction of more mixed tenure projects, which combine private ownership with social housing, have boosted margins while still providing large, fixed volume projects.

There should be an underlying, robust, level of demand for these projects. That could prove an advantage as conditions in the private markets look like they’re starting to cool.”

Among those currently scheduled to release results next week:


Dechra Pharmaceuticals Full Year Results


Ashtead Group* Q1 Trading Statement
Berkeley Group* Trading Statement
Capricorn Energy Half Year Results
DS Smith* Q1 Trading Statement
NCC Group Q4 Trading Statement


Barratt Developments* Full Year Results
Halfords* Trading Statement
WH Smith Full Year Results


Energean Half Year Results
Genus Full Year Results
International Public Partnerships Half Year Results
Melrose Industries* Half Year Results
Spire Healthcare Half Year Results
Vistry* Half Year Results


Computacenter Half Year Results

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