Beer mats at the ready for JD Wetherspoon PLC trading update

Wednesday is also due to see results from British Land, SSE and Talktalk and updates from Taylor Wimpey and Spirax-Sarco

Shareholders at pub chain PLC () will be hoping for a cup half-full when it releases a trading statement on Wednesday, amid politically-charged times for the group.

In September, the firm said that profits dipped 4.5% to £102.5mln due to costs rising in the first half of the year, despite like-for-like sales rising almost 7% in the period.

The firm is facing a backlash at the moment from influential shareholder advisory group Pirc, which urged investors yesterday to oppose ’s financial report over its failure to get shareholder approval for pro-Brexit spending.

The referendum campaign spending included £94,856 on almost 2mln pro-leave beer mats ahead of the 2016 vote.

‘Spoons has also previously cited costs rising with staff wages on the increase as it looks to recruit and retain workers amid an increasingly tight jobs market.

How will follow rival

Real estate investment trust ’s half-year results were foreshadowed by those from FTSE 100 rival a day earlier.

While REITS have been hit by retail woe and Brexit worries in recent years, they have been even more jittery this season after a profit warning from shopping centre owner Intu, which said like-for-like rents are falling this year due to high street shops going bust.

The sort of company voluntary arrangements (CVAs), the measure employed by troubled companies to redraw contracts in a bid to stay afloat, that hit Intu also have the potential to hit profits at British Land.

Swiss bank UBS says both big REITS are looking to sell out of retail with disposals set to continue, noting that British Land will be particularly squeezed by a possible £10mln hit to rents from CVAs, and steep 11-13% declines in its retail assets.

A day earlier LAND boss Rob Noel said: “We expect the retail market to remain challenging as it continues to be impacted by structural change,” adding that the “storm” in retail had become “voracious”.

Investors eye Ovo deal updates from SSE

In its half-year figures on Wednesday, investors in () will eye updates around the energy firm’s planned sale of its retail arm to the UK’s largest independent supplier, Ovo Group, in a £500mln deal that was announced in September.

The acquisition is expected to complete late this year or early next year, so any further clarity on the timing will be watched closely, as well as by how much SSE’s net debt will be reduced by the proceeds from the sale.

Another important factor will be the group’s full-year dividend, which was indicated to be held at 80p per share in a July trading update despite what SSE said were “short-term challenges” in the early months of its current year.

Full-year expectations were also reiterated in July despite lower output from renewable energy in the first quarter, but with SSE planning to shutter its last coal-fired power station,…

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