Week ahead: AG Barr, Wood Group, Next

Roger White and Irn-Bru
Roger White: CEO of AG Barr

Politics will dominate other events this week as the SNP unveils its new leader and Scotland’s next First Minister, but there are also key announcements on the corporate calendar, including results from Wood Group and AG Barr, both on Tuesday.

Aberdeen energy services company Wood Group will announce its final year figures, but it could be the company’s last as an independently-listed company as it is in the throes of takeover talks.

US-based Apollo Global Management has made four proposals, all rejected by Wood which, nonetheless, requested an extension to last week’s deadline for its suitor to make its intentions clear in order to allow Wood to announce its year-end numbers. Apollo now has until 19 April to declare its position.

AG Barr, manufacturer of Irn-Bru and other soft drinks, also reports full-year figures and it has already joined others such as Coca Cola and Britvic to urge the Scottish government to go ahead with its controversial deposit return scheme in August.

Two of the candidates vying to become the next First Minister have said they would pause it and the third would give small firms more time to implement it.

Roger White, the chief executive of AG Barr warned against delaying the introduction of the scheme. He said: “Scotland’s DRS delivers for the environment, society and industry and to delay it now would be to the detriment of all those things.”

In a trading update in January the company said the DRS had “the potential to impact consumer behaviour.”

However, it also said its ” internal implementation planning for DRS is well advanced.”

Paul Graham, the managing director for Britvic Soft Drinks in Britain said: “DRS is a proven step towards a circular economy and we look forward to Scotland leading the way across the UK in rolling out the scheme this August.”

Mr White will have an opportunity to say more about it on Tuesday.

After an unexpectedly strong Christmas trading period, the fashion and interiors retailer Next steered analysts to full-price sales growth of 6.9% for the full year.  They will be looking to Wednesday’s 12 month figures to see if chief executive Lord Wolfson follows up his upgrading of sales and profit forecasts for the year.

Wednesday sees the annual conference in Edinburgh of Scotland Food and Drink which may also address the DRS issue.

Calendar (supplied by AJ Bell, with additions)

Monday 27 March

  • Full-year results from Belvoir Group
  • Trading statement from bid target Hyve

Tuesday 28 March

  • Full-year results from Wood Group, S&U, AG Barr and James Fisher & Sons
  • Trading statements from Ocado and United Utilities
  • Supermarket sales and market share data from Kantar
  • Bank of England governor and senior leaders to give evidence to the Treasury Committee on the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank UK

Wednesday 29 March

  • Full-year results from Bellway and Next
  • UK mortgage approvals
  • Scotland Food and Drink conference
  • Scaling Up Summit in Edinburgh with Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Chancellor Jeremy Hunt questioned by Treasury Committee on his Budget,
  • Bank of England publishes minutes of latest Financial Policy Committee meeting

Thursday 30 March

  • First-year results from Time Out
  • Trading statement from Moonpig
  • Nationwide UK house price survey
  • Final estimate for Q4 US GDP growth
  • US unemployment claims

Friday 31 March

  • First half results from James Halstead

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