Consumer spending is one of the main business themes of the month of January, chiefly through the performance of the retail sector over the festive period.
Various different perspectives on household spending will be provided on Tuesday: from online retail specialist The Hut Group, tabletop gaming chain Games Workshop Group PLC (LON:GAW) and housebuilder Vistry Group PLC (LON:VTY).
Better inside the Hut than out?
Hut Group, officially known as THG PLC (LON:THG), is scheduled to provide an update on the past quarter on Tuesday, having said reported sales performance ahead of expectations across all divisions in November.
Boosted by Black Friday and China’s Singles Day, new active customers stood at more than 1.7mln over the month, up 74% on last year.
The company, which was one of the few London IPOs of last year, said revenue in the fourth quarter was expected to grow 40-45% year-on-year, meaning full-year growth was expected to be30-40% to almost £1.6bn.
This strong online momentum could bode well for the likes of Boohoo and Asos, which are coming out with trading updates later in the week.
Games Workshop should be one of a few companies reporting results on Tuesday.
The retailer and maker of Warhammer figurines estimated two months ago that pre-tax profit for the six months to November 29 will be “not less than £80mln”, compared to £58.6mln a year earlier.
Then, continuing its trend of making very brief but very positive updates, the FTSE 250 group in December said trading had been even better than expected in its last quarter and so raised profit expectations again, to £90mln, on sales expected to come in at £185mln, up from £148mln last year.
And it also proposed a dividend of 60p per share, in line with its policy of distributing truly surplus cash and said it will be paid in January.
Vistry building up steam?
Vistry will be the first of a group of housebuilders providing results this week.
Early last month Vistry said it will consider a dividend this year after strong sales and good cash generation since the end of coronavirus lockdown restrictions last summer.
Profits in the year to end December 2020 will be at the top end of its £130mln-£140mln forecast, the group said, with a profit before tax predicted for 2021 of £310mln.
However, rival Barratt Developments in the past week said its rate of house sales and building work in progress both slowed from the breakneck speed seen late last summer.
Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “With a third national lockdown in full swing, one major question remains for housebuilders like Vistry – what will this do to the economy? The sector escaped the turmoil of 2020 relatively unscathed due to the housing market’s resilience, but as the pandemic drags on, the threat of a prolonged economic downturn is increasing. That makes the outlook statement the most important place to look next week.”
Significant announcements expected on Tuesday January 12:
Trading announcements: Auto Trader Group PLC (LON:AUTO), Ferrexpo PLC (LON:FXPO), Nichols PLC (LON:NICL), Rathbone Bros PLC (LON:RAT), Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA), THG Holdings PLC (LON:THG), Vistry Group PLC (LON:VTY), XP Power Ltd (LON:XPP),
Economic announcements: BRC retail sales