Coming up: the big business events of week ahead

Grafton Group and Total Produce to report; Irish porperty prices and US jobless rate

Abercrombie & Fitch results are out on Tuesday. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Abercrombie & Fitch results are out on Tuesday. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters


Grafton Group to report results

Builders merchanting and DIY company Grafton Group is due to report interim results this Wednesday, with underlying trading profits of £68.6 million (€80 million) forecast.

Davy Stockbrokers is forecasting underlying trading profits to have grown by more than 17 per cent on a year-on-year basis, or by 10 per cent adjusting for the acquisition of Grafton’s Netherlands operations in the second half of 2015.

Davy said the outlook for Grafton’s earnings remains uncertain, akin to other names in the same sector.

The stockbroking firm noted that Grafton has fallen by more than 20 per cent since the beginning of 2016.

“The stock is the worst performing in the sector on a year-to-date basis despite offering best-in-class growth prospects over the coming 18 months,” it said.

Grafton Group last month warned that Brexit is likely to dampen demand for new housing and home improvements for the remainder of the year in the UK, its most important market.

Growth in UK merchanting like-for-like sales, which make up more than 70 per cent of group revenues, slowed to an annual 1.6 per cent in the second quarter from 5.3 per cent in the first three months of the year. Sales turned negative in June.

Irish merchanting like-for-like sales rose by 10 per cent in the second quarter, while Belgian sales declined 9.5 per cent. A recovery in retail sales in its Woodies’ DIY business in Ireland has continued so far this year, the company said.

Robust results expected at Total Produce

First-half results are due tomorrow from Total Produce, the fruit distributor spun out of Fyffes.

The company’s initial 2016 EPS guidance range was 10.50 cent to 11.50 cent, but it narrows this to 11 cent to 11.50 cent, after trading for the first four months of the year had been satisfactory.

Davy analyst Declan Morrissey said pricing in Total Produce’s European markets remained positive in the first half despite the ongoing Russian trade embargo on fresh produce.

“We expect a robust performance in the first half, in line with the upbeat trading statement at the end of May,” he said.

For the first-half of 2015, Total Produce reported adjusted pre-tax profit that was up 11.5 per cent to €30.3 million.

Pre-tax profits were unchanged at €24.2 million, while revenue rose 9.2 per cent in the six months to the end of June 2015 to €1.73 billion.

Earlier this year, Total Produce announced it had acquired a 65 per cent stake in US-based Progressive Produce, a grower, packer and distributor of conventional and organic produce with 2015 sales in excess of $200 million.

Davy said last year’s €20 million share buyback, combined with the annual dividend, underpins a focus on shareholder returns.


Results: Samsonite

Indicators: Irish retail sales (Jul); Irish residential property prices (Jul); US Dallas Fed manufacturing index (Aug)


Results: Abercrombie & Fitch; Bunzl; Total Produce

Indicators: Japanese unemployment rate (Jul); Japanese retail sales (Jul); German import prices (Jul); Euro zone economic sentiment (Aug); Euro zone industrial sentiment (Aug)


Results: Grafton Group; Irish Continental

Meetings: FBD Holdings EGM (Irish Farm Centre, Dublin 12)

Indicators: Euro zone unemployment rate (Jul); US MBA mortgage applications (Aug 26); US pending home sales (Jul); German unemployment rate (Jul); German retail sales (Jul); UK Gfk consumer confidence (Aug)

Other: Launch of Hotel Industry Survey 2016


Results: CPL; Donegal Investment Group; Genesco; Hays; Pernod Ricard

Meetings: Future Ready event (Convention Centre, Dublin 1)

Indicators: Irish consumer confidence (Aug); Irish Investec manufacturing PMI (Aug); Irish live register (Aug); Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI (Aug); German Markit manufacturing PMI (Aug); US Markit manufacturing PMI (Aug); Japanese Nikkei Manufacturing PMI (Aug); US initial jobless claims (Aug 27th).


Meetings: National ePayments Conference (CityNorth Hotel, Co Meath); Cork Chamber Brexit business breakfast (Clarion Hotel, Cork);

Indicators: Irish industrial production (Jul); UK Nationwide housing prices (Aug); Japanese consumer confidence (Aug); US balance of trade (Jul); US non-farm payrolls (Aug); US unemployment rate (Aug)