FTSE 350 Look Ahead: Greggs, Ibstock, WPP And More

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FTSE 350 Look Ahead: Greggs, Ibstock, WPP And More

Look ahead to FTSE 350 & other companies reporting from 2 to 6 August 

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Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

  • Greggs (LON:GRG) has been working hard on its recipe for recovery
  • Ibstock (LON:IBST) navigates a tumultuous quarter for building supplies
  • Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW)’s sales rate will set the stage for the second half
  • Rolls Royce (LON:RR) will update on its tepid long haul journey out of the crisis
  • investors will be keen to find out if it’s full steam ahead for the recovery at WPP (LON:WPP)
  • Frasers Group (LON:FRAS) has been cautious in its outlook despite the reopening of retail outlets

Greggs, Half Year Results, Monday 3 August

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst

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"Greggs has been working hard on its recipe for recovery and it is bringing home the bacon once more as ovens in city centre stores have fired back up. The recent trading update shows that insatiable demand for pies and sausage rolls is back, with sales at managed stores rising 3% even on 2019 levels. The pandemic tore a huge chunk off business as it turned once bustling city centres into ghost towns, but even though commuters are not expected to return in large numbers this year, the company still expects sales to bounce back to pre-crisis levels this year. These numbers should indicate if that forecast is still on track. What is helping to drive sales is that Greggs has adapted its operations to keep up with changing snacking habits by rolling out click and collect, which is now available at all its stores. Its delivery service via Just Eat has also been on a roll since the start of the year. We may not be back in the office, but our appetite for lunchtime takeaways hasn’t waned, instead many customers have ditched the queue and are happy to wait for a knock on the door instead. After the hot success of its vegan sausage roll, Greggs is expanding its meat free range with the new version of its sausage, bean and cheese melt which could add extra sauce to sales in the coming months.’’

Ibstock, Half Year Results, Tuesday 4 August

Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

“First quarter trading was modestly ahead of expectations, and the group confirmed investment in projects expected to deliver capacity for 75m extra bricks a year by 2024. Both are good news after a difficult 2020. However, disruption to supply chains in the construction industry, and an accompanying spike in the cost of construction materials, make the outlook for these results uncertain. Shortages have led to higher prices, good news for margins. but may also have disrupted construction activity and hit sales volumes. Exactly where the balance between prices and volumes ends up settling is unclear.”

Taylor Wimpey, Half Year Results, Tuesday 4 August

William Ryder, Equity Analyst

“Taylor Wimpey’s half year results could look really good when compared with 2020 because house buying slowed significantly during the first round of lockdowns. The weak comparison period in 2020 means 2019 is probably a more appropriate benchmark, though it’s doubtful the group will be quite at this level just yet. When we last heard from Taylor it was on track to meet its full year guidance. Management’s comments on demand will set the stage for the second half, and we’d like to see a strong sales rate and a healthy forward order book to support this. We’ll also have half an eye on house prices. Halifax reported a small month-on-month fall in June despite a large rise year-on-year, and we’ll be interested to see whether this matches Taylor’s experience.”

Rolls Royce, Half Year Results, Thursday 5 August

Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst

“Our biggest question for Rolls Royce is whether or not the recovery in air traffic has been enough to meaningfully move the needle for the group’s Civil Aerospace arm, where it makes the bulk of its money. We suspect the division is still under strain as its bread and butter is producing and servicing widebody aircraft engines – those that primarily power long-haul planes. International travel is still hampered by various Covid restrictions, so engine flying hours likely remain depressed. At last check they were 40% of 2019 levels. To temper the impact of a slowdown in Civil Aerospace, the group’s leaned heavily on a cost savings programme. We’re expecting an update on Rolls’ progress on the disposal of ITP Aero and whether or not it’s on track to deliver on its target of £1.3bn savings per year. If things are going to plan, we’d expect Rolls Royce to confirm its intention to become free cash positive at some point in the second half of the year although there are no guarantees.”

WPP, Half Year Results, Thursday 5 August

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst

‘’The big bounce back began for WPP in the first quarter and investors will be keen to find out if its full steam ahead for the recovery. The worry is that new variants may dampen down demand in key markets as already evidence is mounting of a two-speed recovery around the world. In India, which was crippled by a new strain of the virus, revenues were down 0.5% in the first quarter. The group is still in a state of flux in streamlining its operations, keeping a lid on costs and focusing on digital. It’s clear this strategy has delivered some early wins with plenty of deals back on the table, but with the pace of the recovery uncertain, caution is still the name of the game, with the group not expecting organic growth this year to exceed mid-single digits.’’

Frasers Group, Full Year Results, Thursday 5 August

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst

“Frasers Group has been cautious in its outlook despite the reopening of retail in April. Management were clearly anxious that the fresh wave of infections could dampen consumer confidence and even lead to more shopping restrictions. But consumers have shown an eagerness to spend the pounds piled up during the pandemic, rather than keep hoarding them, which could translate into more resilient sales. However, it is also the make-up of the company’s retail portfolio which puts it under particular pressure because although it has a significant online presence, it also has a large footprint of stores in high streets which have not been so popular with shoppers even when restrictions have eased. After a surge of sales in April, clothes shopping appears to have fallen out of fashion again in May and June, according to the ONS, which also doesn’t bode too well for the performance of House of Fraser and Flannels, with sales in department stores particularly weak. However, football fever should have kept demand more buoyant at Sports Direct, with young sports fans buying kit and equipment to try and follow in the footsteps of their soccer heroes.”

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

*Events on which we will be writing research

02-Aug

Heineken * Half Year Results
HSBC Holdings * Half Year Results
XP Power Half Year Results

03-Aug

Activision Blizzard * Q2 Results
BP * Q2 Trading Statement
Coats Group Half Year Results
Direct Line Insurance Group * Half Year Results
Domino's Pizza Half Year Results
Fresnillo Half Year Results
Greggs Half Year Results
Hiscox Half Year Results
Keller Half Year Results
Rotork Half Year Results
Standard Chartered * Half Year Results
TP ICAP Half Year Results
Travis Perkins Half Year Results

04-Aug

Ferrexpo Half Year Results
Ibstock * Half Year Results
Legal & General Group * Half Year Results
Morgan Sindall Group Half Year Results
Taylor Wimpey * Half Year Results
UDG Healthcare Q3 Trading Statement

05-Aug

Centamin Half Year Results
Deutsche Post * Half Year Results
EVRAZ Half Year Results
Frasers Group Full Year Results
Glencore * Half Year Results
Hammerson Half Year Results
IP Group Half Year Results
Meggitt Half Year Results
Mondi Half Year Results
NCC Group Full Year Results
Novo Nordisk * Q2 Results
Pantheon International Full Year Results
Rolls-Royce * Half Year Results
Savills Half Year Results
Serco Group Half Year Results
Spirent Communications Half Year Results
Synthomer Group Half Year Results
Tritax Big Box* Half Year Results
WPP * Half Year Results

06-Aug

ContourGloba Half Year Results
Hikma Pharmaceuticals Half Year Results
London Stock Exchange Group Half Year Results
Renewables Infrastructure Grp (The) Half Year Results

*Events on which we will be writing research


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