ROLLS-ROYCE and Lemsip owner Reckitt Benckiser will be among the highlights of another busy few days for corporate results this week.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce, which is being investigated over bribery allegations relating to its business dealings with overseas customers, will report another jump in profits when it publishes its 2012 results on Thursday.
The FTSE 100 engineering company is expected to deliver a 16% hike in underlying profits to £1.4bn, but the focus will be on the progress of veteran lawyer Lord Gold’s review into the company’s compliance procedures in the wake of the claims being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Rolls disclosed in December that it was in talks with the SFO in relation to concerns about bribery and corruption in Indonesia and China and warned there was the potential for the prosecution of individuals and the company.
The company, which has major sites at Derby and Bristol and employs around 40,000 people in more than 50 countries, is expected to see underlying revenues jump to £12bn, from £11.3bn last year.
Contract successes have included a “significant” deal to power the US Navy’s upcoming fleet of new hovercraft and a record number of orders for its Trent XWB engine that will help reduce jet emissions by 16% and is due to come into service in 2014.
A surge in winter cold and flu bugs should help profits at Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser edge up on Wednesday. The City expects operating profits to rise to £2.5bn, up from £2.4bn the previous year, after it saw increasing demand for its products Lemsip and Strepsils.
The company behind products ranging from Durex condoms to cleaning product Dettol is also likely to have been buoyed by its fast growing emerging markets division in Latin America and Asia.
According to Panmure Gordon stockbrokers, Reckitt will deliver like-for-like sales growth of 4.2% for the year, which is much lower than the growth of 6.9% seen at rival Unilever due to the Flora owner’s higher skew to emerging markets. Sales are expected to be flat at around £9.5 billion. Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond will update the City on the crucial Christmas period tomorrow amid recent signs of a slowdown in the high street “gold rush”.
The group’s retail business is expected to have fared well over the festive months, and investors will be keen to hear if its ranges of second-hand prestige watches continued to boost like-for-like retail sales at the group.
Albemarle saw full-year profits hit by a “sudden slowdown” in gold buying levels in the middle of last year, following a peak last March, as gold prices pulled back after three years of rapid growth. But Michael O’Brien, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, said he anticipated a stronger retail performance than in recent years over its key Christmas period.
Reading-based Albemarle, which has 233 outlets including around 50 gold-buying pop-up stores, said more than half of the shops it has opened since 2009 have made an operating profit. It plans to open five stores this year.