No longer ‘king of AIM’, it has a lot to prove after a disastrous year of profit warnings and logistics mishaps. However, the market is increasingly being persuaded the solutions put in place are producing improvement.
Analysts at Peel Hunt drew a “line in the sand” at 15% sales growth, saying a lower number will be “disappointing” for the peak festive period, while a higher number will reassure investors that management can resolve last year’s issues and regain customers in Europe.
They see Europe growing 15%, with UK and US around 13%.
Shore Capital also expressed a bullish approach, upgrading the online retailer to ‘hold’ from ‘sell’ as it “may well have done well this festive period”.
Nonetheless, the City is well aware of the weak comparatives against last year’s dismal performance.
Sirius offer may make Anglo headlines
Sirius Minerals and its somewhat divisive Yorkshire mine project is, of course, a small part of what is a large FTSE 100 mining group, nonetheless, there will be plenty of attention on any comments made on Thursday – not least amongst the 80,000(ish) private shareholders who will soon vote on Anglo recommended 5.5p or £400mln takeover offer.
On Monday, Anglo confirmed it had made its formal offer to acquire Sirius.
Sirius’s board, advised by JP Morgan, considered the takeover offer to be “fair and reasonable” and said directors believe the deal terms are “in the best interests of Sirius shareholders as a whole.”
Nonetheless, the price, in particular, remains a bitter pill for many smaller holders to swallow.
Sirius chair Russell Scrimshaw, however, warned investors that the company could face liquidation if the Anglo deal is snubbed at the upcoming vote.
Away from M&A, the material focus will naturally be on production volumes, metal prices and margins.
Significant events due on Thursday, January 23:
Trading announcements: ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), Anglo American plc (LON:AAL), Computacenter plc (LON:CCC), Countryside Properties PLC (LON:CSP), Gear4Music Holdings PLC (LON:G4M), Hyve Group PLC (LON:HYVE), PayPoint PLC (LON:PAY), Strix Group PLC (LON:KETL)
Economic announcements: ECB policy decision, US jweekly obless claims