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The Week Ahed: Updates due from John Lewis, Next, Kingfisher, Morrisons and Thonrtons

PUBLISHED: 17:20 06 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:20 06 September 2013

The John Lewis at home and Waitrose stores in Ipswich.

The John Lewis at home and Waitrose stores in Ipswich.

The recovery in consumer confidence is expected to be reflected in results from a number of major retail players this week.

Supermarket group Morrisons will update on its roll out of M-Local convenience stores on Thursday as it attempts to halt sliding market share and falling sales.

Under intense pressure from discount rivals and squeezed household budgets, Morrisons saw like-for-like sales fall 1.8% in the three months to May 5.

It is playing catch-up with its bigger rivals on opening convenience stores, and hopes to be trading from 100 of the smaller outlets by the end of the year.

Analysts on average expect pre-tax profits for the six months to the start of August to slide 13% to £383million from £440mn a year earlier, with underlying profits falling 8% to £410m.

John Lewis is set to post more strong growth on Thursday as its department stores and Waitrose supermarkets thrive on a recovering retail picture.

The employee-owned group, which trades from almost 40 department stores and around 300 Waitrose outlets, has grown throughout the downturn despite stretched household budgets and multiple retail failures.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb expects the group to post a rise in underlying pre-tax profits of around 6% to £117m in the six months to the end of July.

First-half results from B&Q owner Kingfisher will be closely watched for signs of a lift from Britain’s recovering housing market when they are released on Wednesday.

Warmer weather after the snow-hit start to the year has already given the retailer a boost in recent months, as Britain’s heatwave drove demand for barbecues and garden furniture.

Analysts on average expect the retailer to post adjusted pre-tax profits of £365m for the six months to the start of August, down about 2% on £371m a year earlier.

The summer heatwave and recovering household spending are expected to help Next report buoyant recent trading after the freezing start to the year.

The retail giant has enjoyed a weather boost in recent months and could also cite firming consumer confidence when it posts first-half results on Thursday.

Analysts at Numis Securities expect pre-tax profits to grow to £271m from £251m a year earlier.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s retail group Sports Direct International will update on recent trading on Wednesday after a record year that looks set to earn the group promotion into the FTSE 100 index.

The SportsWorld owner reported a 40% leap in pre-tax profits to £207.2m for the year to April 28, while underlying earnings jumped 22.1% higher to £287.9m. Despite that solid performance and expectations for first quarter trading to show further sales growth, the City will be keen for further details on plans for a possible bonus scheme for Mr Ashley.

In July, Sports Direct said it had decided to scrap plans to resurrect the contentious “super-stretch” bonus plan for its founder and would review “various options”, although no notice has been put to shareholders ahead of the AGM in a sign that discussions are still ongoing.

Surging sales of chocolates at supermarkets will help Thorntons ring up a sharp recovery in profits when it reports annual results on Wednesday.

Analysts at Investec Securities expect the group to post underlying pre-tax profits of £5.2m for the year, a sharp recovery from profits of just £851,000 a year earlier, with sales through supermarkets having increased 11.8% in the 10 weeks to June 29 while sales through is own high street stores also edged ahead by 0.5%.

The identity of a man found dead in a Colchester car park yesterday has been confirmed by police.

A charity for victims of childhood sexual abuse in Suffolk and Norfolk has appointed former Ipswich Town and England footballer Kieron Dyer as its latest ambassador.

Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble is facing the fight of his political life after being challenged for the top job by fellow cabinet member Matthew Hicks.

A brand new imaging centre at Colchester Hospital which aims to speed up diagnosis welcomed its first patients today.

A drug addict died after he was stabbed to “teach him a lesson” for trying to rob a dealer of drugs, it has been alleged.

A lorry driver was reportedly threatened with a handgun during a robbery in an A12 lay-by in Essex last night.

A man’s body has been found in Leiston, police have confirmed.

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