Tuesday will see Tobacco titan Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) release a first-half trading update where new boss Stefan Bomhard may update investors on the company’s new strategy he unveiled in an online presentation in January.

Bomhard, who took over last July, said the five-year plan is focusing on delivering a “stronger and more consistent performance” in both combustible tobacco and next-generation products, including a “significantly different approach” to vaping, with more of a focus on heat-not-burn tobacco in Europe.

In terms of the traditional business, investors in the FTSE 100-listed group will hope it could build on numbers from last autumn where it met its previously lowered expectations for profits and dividends while improving cash flow.

A big focus will be the company’s full-year guidance, which is currently set at low-to-mid single-digit growth in underlying operating profit, as well as on ongoing reduction in net debt.

AG Barr looks to keep numbers fizzing

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr PLC (LON:BAG) started 2021 with a pop after saying profits for the current year were not going to be as bad as feared.

For the past year to January 24, 2020, the firm said its revenue is estimated to come in at £227mln, 11% below the prior year’s levels, with £50mln net cash in the bank.

However, the Cumbernauld-based company also noted that January’s lockdown measures had impacted its sales into 2021, so the outlook statement as well as how the firm plans to recover from the pandemic will be watched closely for how it sees the immediate post-COVID era panning out.

Pennon lets update flow

From fizzing drinks to supposedly clearer liquids in the Tuesday trading statement from Pennon PLC (LON:PENN), which runs South West Water – one of the five worst-performing water companies in the past year in terms of pollution.

Now describing itself as an environmental infrastructure group since the £3.7bn disposal of waste unit Viridor, Pennon said in its half-year results it had significant funds available of £2.7bn and that it is working extensively to work out what to do with it.

Since then, nothing of consequence has been heard from the company but some companies have a propensity to announce acquisitions along with their results statement, so acquisition news is not beyond the realms of possibility.

With that amount of cash on the balance sheet and the shares regarded as an income play, it was little surprise that the board elected at the interim stage not to join those companies suspending dividend payments during the pandemic.

The company’s policy is to increase the payout by two percentage points above the annual increase in the consumer price index with housing costs (CPIH).

Recent data shows that in terms of environmental pollution, Pennon’s South West Water was the second worst performing company, with 105 pollution incidents per every 10,000km of sewer, as well as releasing raw sewage into rivers more than 36,000 times last year.

Significant announcements expected for Tuesday March 30:

Trading announcements: Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB), Pennon Group PLC (LON:PNN), 3i Group plc (LON:III)

Finals: AG Barr PLC (LON:BAG), Animalcare Group PLC (LON:ANCR), Central Asia Metals PLC (LON:CAML), Chesnara PLC (LON:CSN), Dialight PLC (LON:DIA), EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC (LON:EKF), Michelmersh Brick Holdings Plc (LON:MBH), Real Estate Investors PLC (LON:RLE), S&U PLC (LON:SUS), Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN), Yu Group PLC (LON:YU.)

Interims: Nanoco Group PLC (LON:NANO)

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