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UK investors to focus on retail sector


UK investors to focus on retail sector

Last updated: March 28 2007
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  • UK investors to focus on retail sector

    UK investors will be focused on the retail sector this week as some major names from the high street are due to post trading updates or results.

    Sainsbury’s will set aside speculation about its future ownership when it posts sales figures for the most recent trading quarter on Wednesday.

    The resurgent retailer is up against toughening comparatives with a year ago, but should still post sales growth in the region of 5% to 5.5%, according to analysts at Citigroup.

    They point to recent evidence from TNS market share data, which suggested continued strong sales through the fourth quarter.Whatever happens on Wednesday, shares are unlikely to be affected as investors continue to focus on the interest of a private equity consortium led by CVC.

    Citigroup added: “Should the bid not materialise, then the company needs to ensure it has not been too distracted and that sales remain on track. We still expect to see significant profit improvement in the second half of 2006/07.”

    Proving that life in retail is rarely straight forward, Kingfisher’s most recent trading statement offset the UK progress by reporting flat sales growth at Castorama amid continued price pressures in France, particularly from the other major DIY retailer in France, Leroy Merlin.

    The newly-listed company has so far received a cool reception on the Bombay Stock Exchange, which analysts put down to general market weakness and some specific pipeline and exploration issues faced by Cairn.

    As well as the Indian operation, Cairn will have an exploration and production arm focused on the group’s remaining assets in Bangladesh, Nepal and Northern India. It will also look for new material growth opportunities.
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