ASOS, Experian, Severn Trent set for Thursday’s spotlight


ASOS PLC (LON:ASC) will deliver a trading update on Thursday following a strong half-year that saw its revenue rise 25% to nearly GBP2bn.

However, the fast fashion firm warned that the tailwind it experienced during lockdown could slow as the relaxation of restrictions opens up high streets again, leaving customers less dependent on its online offering.

While few details are expected on profits, sales trends will be eyed closely in North America as well as the performance of the firm’s core UK market.

However, while lockdown may revive competition, the return of parties and social events could offset any declines.

Also in focus will be any details on the company’s profit outlook for the full year.

Experian eyed for US recovery news

Credit data firm Experian PLC’s (LON:EXPN) trading update on Thursday will be eyed for any information on how the US economic recovery is progressing.

The expectation is that the firm’s consumer division will be the key driver of top-line growth, however, any comments on which areas of the US are holding up best will be taken in context with how the pandemic is spreading in different parts of the country.

Severn Trent washes up with trading update

Severn Trent PLC (LON:SVT) is in the diary with a trading statement on what looks like a fairly busy Thursday.

We last heard from the water company in May when it reported results and much of the sector announced investments under the government’s Green Recovery programme, with the FTSE 100 utility tapping shareholders for GBP250mln to help fund its six projects.

SVT’s results for the year to end-March 2021 showed a 17% fall in underlying profits due to new tariffs, the net impact of the pandemic on consumption and investment in its services.

Lower water demand from businesses was partially offset by an increase in demand from households last year, resulting in a GBP50mln reduction in revenue.

This should be recoverable in the future, said analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown, with trends moving back towards normal with the reopening of the economy and management’s comments in this update expected to help investor understanding.

For its sustainability credentials, SVT may hopefully also explain why the scale of the water industry illegally discharging sewage is so bad and what plans there are to improve it.

A recent study found water companies’ illegal sewage discharges were 10 times worse than the Environment Agency (EA) estimates, with the growing outcry over sewage discharges into rivers leading to the EA publishing full details of the scale of the problem earlier this year.

Thursday July 15

Trading announcements: ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), Experian PLC (LON:EXPN), Hays PLC (LON:HAS), Severn Trent PLC (LON:SVT), Costain Group PLC (LON:COST), Galliford Try Holdings Plc (LON:GFRD), Johnson Service Group plc (LON:JSG)

Finals: Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC (LON:GSF), Polar Capital Technology Trust PLC (LON:PCT), Redcentric PLC (LON:RCN)

FTSE 100 ex-dividends: None

Economic data: UK unemployment, UK earnings, US jobless claims


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