The middle of the week will see the video game and housebuilding sectors take centre stage in the corporate diary with numbers expected from development services firm Keywords and construction group Bellway.
Meanwhile, the macro diary will be dominated by UK inflation data alongside flash PMI readings from both the UK and the US.
UK consumer price inflation is forecast to nudge up slightly but remain below the Bank of England’s band of tolerance, so should not give rate-setters any reason to reconsider the stance set out last week.
Keywords caps off strong year
Video game services group Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), which is due to report its final results on Wednesday, has been one of the few firms that has received a boost to its business during the pandemic as electronic entertainment demand boomed during lockdown.
The firm has forecast organic revenue growth for the year of 12%, although margins are likely to be the key focus as well as how the firm expects its profitability to hold up in a post-coronavirus era.
Another question is likely to be the ongoing integration of the company’s recent acquisitions, having made around seven since May, as well as the company’s strategy going forward following the new prominence of gaming in the mainstream market.
Sales in March will be the focus in Bellway’s interims
Bellway PLC (LON:BWY) has already revealed most of the relevant numbers covering the six months to the end of January and with the government, as ever, in its corner, they made good reading shareholders.
The FTSE 250 housebuilder completed deals on 5,656 homes in the six months to end-January, an increase of 6.3% over the same time a year ago.
Revenues rose by more than 12% to £1.72bn, helped by both the rise in completions and a 5.8% rise in the average sale price to £303,200.
Some of this inflation was temporary, Bellway said, and over the full year, average sale prices are expected to revert to around £293,000.
UBS is forecasting operating margins of 17.0%, down from 19.6% a year earlier. It has pencilled in a figure of £288mln for profit before tax.
“We will watch out for the sales rate trend in March after a modest -2% decline recorded in H1 [first half] to 0.69x as well as more details on FY21 [fiscal 2021] guidance, including prices, volumes and margin development,” the Swiss bank said.
Significant announcements for Wednesday March 24:
Trading announcements: Diploma PLC (LON:DPLM), Halma PLC (LON:HLMA)
Finals: Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF), Burford Capital Limited (LON:BUR), Circassia Group PLC (LON:CIR), CPPGroup PLC (LON:CPP), ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC), Kenmare Resources plc (LON:KMR), Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG), Sopheon PLC (LON:SPE), Strix Group PLC (LON:KETL), TClarke PLC (LON:CTO), Telit Communications PLC (LON:TCM)
Interims: Bellway PLC (LON:BWY), Softcat PLC (LON:SCT), Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM)
Economic data: UK inflation, UK flash PMIs, US durable goods orders, US flash PMIs