Week ahead

Royal Mail fine and monopoly claim | inflation to fall

Royal Mail letters post box
Royal Mail announces interims this week

UPDATE 13 Nov: Royal Mail, which lost its monopoly on parcels at Post Office branches, is facing new anti-competitive claims and a fine for late delivery.

The former FTSE 100 postal giant, now branded International Distributions Services, reports interims this week and has been fined £5.6 million after failing to meet delivery targets.

Even after taking into account industrial action, extreme weather and the Stansted runway closure, its First and Second Class performance was still only 82% and 95.5% respectively.

Royal Mail is also accused of abusing its monopoly position to force a competitor out of the market. It is now preparing for a High Court showdown with rival Whistl, which was forced to scale back operations nearly a decade ago with loss of 2,000 jobs.

Despite a turbulent time for Royal Mail, the IDS share price has risen by about 10% this year after maintaining relatively steady revenues of £12.7 billion in the last financial year.

BAE Systems has been facing a public backlash over its involvement in the production of F-35 warplanes used by the Israeli military in Gaza, even though its role in supplying Ukraine has been a big boost to its share price.

It said it is trading in line with expectations after a strong third quarter, with £10bn in orders booked since the half-year stage.

“We are delivering another year of good sales and earnings growth, together with strong cash flow generation,” said chief executive Charles Woodburn.

Battery manufacturer AMTE Power says it will update the market on its talks with a potential investor which would avoid calling in administrators. A further update may also come from gold mining company Scotgold Resources which is facing a similar outcome.

Inflation numbers are due on Wednesday with expectations for a significant drop in the headline rate from to between 4.7% and 5% for the year to October from 6.7% in September.

The figures, which will follow the US print on Tuesday, will set the tone for the Autumn Statement on 22 November and the Bank of England’s next move (full story here).

Retail figures on Friday will provide further clues about consumer spending as we enter the festive shopping season. Burberry results will provide pointers to the direction of the luxury market.

This week’s events

Conferences: WeDo Scotland, Homes for Scotland (Wednesday)

Seminar: Stevie Kidd, the Glasgow-based business strategist and performance coach, is delivering a free seminar on self-leadership techniques on Thursday. Son and business partner Ryan Kidd will help deliver the masterclass.

Finance and Economics Diary

Monday 13 November

  • First-half results from British Land
  • Trading statement from BAE Systems
  • Rightmove UK house price index

Tuesday 14 November

  • First-half results from DCC, Land Securities, Babcock International, Oxford Instruments, Vodafone
  • Trading statements from ConvaTec, Informa, Hill & Smith, Grafton and Vesuvius
  • UK unemployment, wage growth and job vacancies
  • US inflation

Wednesday 15 November

  • First-half results from SSE, Experian and Fuller, Smith & Turner
  • Trading statements from Tullow Oil
  • UK inflation figures

Thursday 16 November

  • First-half results from United Utilities, Burberry, International Distributions Services 
  • Trading statements from Aviva, Smiths Group, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Melrose, Close Brothers, Keller, Crest Nicholson and Kier

Friday 17 November

  • UK GfK consumer confidence survey
  • Uk retail sales
  • EU inflation

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