There’s also results from 888 Holdings, National Express, EMIS Group, Genel Energy, Eve Sleep and Vectura
Thursday should have plenty of company news for investors to chew over, including Ocado, Fevertree and Gym Group, before the policy decision later in the day.
This comes a day after the US Federal Reserve revealed a major upgrade in the economic outlook and a slight change in the ‘dot plot’ of expected future policy changes, with four policymakers seeing a possible interest rate increase in 2022.
Talk of a move to negative interest rates has gone a little quieter at Threadneedle Street in recent weeks.
“The bank will be sending some important messages to the market and most of them are likely to be hawkish, but they will be wrapped with dovish tone,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade.
“Firstly, the bank needs to set the record straight that there will be no need for negative interest and the market players need to eradicate those expectations. Secondly, the bank will need to embrace the remarkable progress on the vaccine front, and how that has improved economic health. Finally, the governor is also likely to show his appreciation in terms of support from the fiscal side, and its influence on economic recovery.
“Despite all these positive aspects, the reality is that the UK is still far from reaching full economic recovery as the full impact of covid-19 is still unknow, and the economy hasn’t opened yet. In addition to that, the unemployment rate has been kept low artificially through government support, and it will be only when the government will begin to withdraw its support.
(), one of the FTSE 100’s rare tech stars, zooms in with a trading update on Thursday, having last month reported a fivefold reduction in losses last year but warned that the outlook for 2021 was very much dependent on how coronavirus restrictions are eased.
This uncertainty affected the wider tech sector as pandemic winners were sold off around the world, with Ocado’s shares down over a quarter from recent highs.
For the current year, the company’s finger-in the-air prediction is for double-digit revenue growth in UK Solutions & Logistics, around 30% growth in fees from its international supermarket customers for its Solutions business, plus an additional £30m of accelerated investment in its platform technology, taking total predicted capital expenditure up to around £700mln.
“We expect sales at Ocado continued with vigour,” said analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown, but added that management need to continue to convince investors that demand for its expensive fulfilment centres is still strong.
“With the end of lockdown in sight the e-commerce boom will likely lose steam, leaving supermarket execs faced with the dilemma of whether to spend big on a robotic fulfilment centre that will take years to pay off, or simply improve their current in-store picking technology for a fraction of the cost.”
Fevertree hopes to keep some fizz
Thursday will see full year results from posh mixer maker PLC (), although the headline figures have already been pre-flagged in a January trading update in which the company reported a 3% fall in revenue to £252.1mln for 2020 as a 22% fall in UK revenues was offset by strong growth in the US and the rest of the world.
While the company said it had traded resiliently during the year, investors will be looking to see how the latest round of lockdowns in early 2021 have impacted trading in the current financial year.
The outlook will also be closely eyed for any commentary on how the company expects its business to recover as restaurants and bars prepare to reopen in early summer in line with the UK’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.
EMIS logs in with finals
(), the provider of IT services to GP surgeries, will report its full year results on Thursday after having weathered the pandemic period reasonably well due to its…