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Next week on the stock market

What to expect from a selection of FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies reporting next week.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

Among those currently scheduled to release results next week:

  • Imperial Brands should give an update on next-gen product progress.
  • We’ll be looking for progress on Royal Mail's negotiations with the union over staff cuts.
  • National Grid should outline how it’s electric-heavy business plans to meet ballooning demand.

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Among those currently scheduled to release results next week:

Diploma Half Year Results
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust Half Year Results
Greggs Q1 Trading Statement
Britvic Half Year Results
C&C Group Full Year Results
DCC Full Year Results
Imperial Brands* Half Year Results
Land Securities Group Full Year Results
TI Fluid Systems Q1 Trading Statement
Tritax EuroBox Half Year Results
Vodafone Group* Full Year Results
Assura Full Year Results
Aviva* First Quarter Trading Statement
British Land Company Full Year Results
Burberry Group* Full Year Results
Experian* Full Year Results
Future* Half Year Results
Ninety One Full Year Results
Premier Foods Q4 Results
TBC Bank Group Q1 Results
Countryside Partnerships Half Year Results
Easyjet* Half Year Results
Essentra Q1 Trading Statement
Euromoney Institutional Investor Half Year Results
Fevertree* Trading Statement
Great Portland Estates Full Year Results
Investec Full Year Results
National Grid* Full Year Results
QinetiQ Group Q4 Results
Royal Mail* Full Year Results
Tyman Trading Statement
Watches of Switzerland Group Q4 Trading Statement
Young & Co's Brewery Group Full Year Results
Close Brothers Group Q3 Trading Statement

*Events on which we will be updating investors.

Imperial Brands – Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst

As we enter the second year of Imperial Brands’ 5-year strategy plan, focus remains on improving market share in the group’s core markets – the US, UK, Spain, Germany and Australia – which account for around 70% of profits. Trends seen last year seem to be continuing, growth in US, UK and Spain is progressing, but Germany and Australia remain tough cookies to crack.

Half-year performance is expected to be impacted by a return to normal purchasing patterns in Europe, offsetting growth elsewhere. Revenue’s expected to come in flat, with operating profit up a couple of percent. Eye’s will be on Next Generation Product (NGP) losses as they’re expected to narrow. Progress here is important given the transition away from traditional tobacco products is key for future growth. We’ve been told to expect an update on next steps, last we heard trials of Pulze heated tobacco in Greece and the Czech Republic were promising as was performance from blu vapour in the US.

Negotiations for the transfer of the group’s Russian assets are ongoing, with operations in the region being suspended at the start of March. Operationally speaking, the region (including Ukraine) represents about 0.5% of operating profit so shouldn't impact trading performance in a major way.

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National Grid - Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst

National Grid (NG) is at a turning point as the transition toward renewable energy increases demand on its networks. How NG plans to rise up and meet the growing wave of new connection applications is where our attention will be focussed. The group’s spate of acquisitions and disposals mean its portfolio is weighted toward electric now, and that’s paying off as inflation’s expected to boost profits beyond guidance. But it’s bound by regulatory oversight, and that will dictate how much of that pay-off will go toward building out a more capable grid. This push to invest more will come alongside pressure to reduce customers’ bills as the cost-of-living squeeze continues to bite.

The other big factor to watch is how the group’s disposals are progressing. To buy Western Power Distribution, National Grid took on short-term bridge loans. These are to be paid off through the sale of the group’s gas business. While things appear to be on track so far, we’d like further confirmation that the sale is still set to complete in the next few months, particularly as rising interest rates make loans like this one much riskier to have on the books.

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Royal Mail - Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst

Royal Mail’s in a tricky position heading into its results. The group’s been delivering on an impressive turnaround that’s seen a shift toward automation and efficiency, which was only helped along by the pandemic. Now that those tailwinds have dissipated much of the transition involves cutting costs, and Royal Mail’s biggest cost is its massive network of employees. The group’s aiming to cut 700 management positions, which should save RMG £40m per year. But with rumours circulating that the union’s unhappy, we wonder if progress has been made. Not to mention the mounting pressure on employers around the country to implement pay increases to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Commentary around this issue is where markets will be focused, but there are other key factors to watch. We’d like to see that the group’s on track with its planned automation investments and that spending isn’t getting out of hand. Management forecast “well over £400m” of investment costs at the half year. With inflation driving up construction costs, we’re keen to know exactly what that means. We’ll also have an eye on parcel volumes, which have come down somewhat from pandemic highs. They appear to be rebasing at a higher level, though, a trend we’d like to see solidified at the full year results.

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This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

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    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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