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Ted Baker PLC and Pets at Home Group PLC are among highlights for Thursday’s City

Ted Baker, Pets At Home, United Utilities and Johnson Matthey are among the notable names pencilled in the book for Thursday.

Clothing firm () has not fared well during the pandemic, as demand for loungewear and tracksuits during lockdown usurped the desire for fashionable ‘night out’ apparel, with the shuttering of most of its stores during lockdown unlikely to have helped matters.

As a result, the company’s full-year results on Thursday are unlikely to make for pleasant reading, with the company having previously reported that revenues in its final quarter had plunged 47%.

Profits are expected to be even worse than that, as the company is still having to pay rent on its closed stores, meaning costs have likely stayed the same or increased. Analysts, therefore, are predicting the company will swing into a £70mln loss from an £18mln profit in the previous year.

With lockdown restrictions finally easing, the company’s outlook statement will be of paramount importance, particularly how the company plans to turn itself around and rejuvenate the business in a post-COVID world.

Pets at Home profits from pandemic pet proliferation

Results from () are likely to set investor tails wagging as the firm has profited from a boom in pet ownership during the pandemic as customers increasingly sought out new fluffy companions during lockdown.

The company’s like-for-like sales grew by 17.6% in its third quarter, so shareholders will be hoping that trend continued into the final quarter of the year, while the firm has also forecast full-year profits of £85mln.

However, the outlook statement is likely to be eyed more cautiously as new pet ownership levels flatten, although the company’s longer-term services such as its vet clinics, grooming services and VIP clubs providing ongoing revenue streams as well as opportunities for cross-selling from its core retail arm.

Johnson Matthey hopes to shine

refiner () is expected to report second-half earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of £343mln on revenue of £2.24bn on Thursday.

Last month, the group revealed that its operating performance in the year to the end of March had been “around the top end of market expectations”.

At the time, the consensus forecast for full-year underlying operating profit in 2020/21 was £469mln, with the forecasts ranging from £405mln to £502mln.

Underlying operating profit in the preceding year was £539mln but as Johnson Matthey’s chief executive, Robert MacLeod said last month, the year just ended had been an extraordinary one.

Analysts are likely to be interested in guidance on capital expenditure for the current year, with current thinking that it will be around £486mln, dipping to £474mln next year.

Thursday May 27

Trading announcements: ()

Finals: (), (), (), PLC (), Invinity Energy Systems PLC (), (), (), Picton Property Income Ltd (LON:PCTN), PLC ()

Interims: Daily Mail & General Trust PLC (), Group PLC (), ()

FTSE 100 ex-dividends to knock 2.61 points off the index: PLC (), (), Sage Group PLC (), PLC (), (), PLC ()

Economic data: US GDP, US jobless claims, US durable goods

Read More: Ted Baker PLC and Pets at Home Group PLC are among highlights for Thursday’s City

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