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Falls in profit at BP and GlaxoSmithKline expected

IT will be a big week for results as full-year earnings from oil giant BP and drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline are published.

The City is braced for a 34% profit fall at BP in the final three months of the year after it landed the biggest fine in US history over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

Analysts predict fourth quarter underlying replacement cost profits will fall to $3.3 billion (£2bn), from $4.99bn in the same period the previous year, below third quarter profits which were $5.2bn.

The group, which reports tomorrow, agreed the $4.5bn settlement with the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in November, which it will pay over six years.

But Jon Rigby, analyst at UBS, said it still left the last "big ticket item" of the civil claims relating to the oil rig accident in 2010, which killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

In November the group agreed to sell a range of North Sea oil fields to Taqa, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, in a $1.1bn deal.

Lucozade and Ribena owner GlaxoSmithKline is expected to end a troubled year on a more positive note when its reports full-year results on Wednesday.

Experts at UBS predict sales declines will ease in the final quarter of 2012, down 3% on the previous year to £6.8bn in a slight improvement after a 5% slump to £6.5bn in the third quarter, which was dragged down by government cut backs in Europe.

At its last update in October, the drugs giant called on European governments to halt aggressive price cuts on medicines or suffer unintended consequences.

Glaxo, which also makes hot drink Horlicks, has warned that austerity drives across Europe, which have seen medicine prices cut by more than 7%, will impact the development of new drugs across the continent.

Experts predict full year sales will come in 3.5% lower compared with the previous year at £26.4bn and are pencilling in an 11% slump in full years profits to £7.6bn.

Thomson and First Choice parent TUI Travel will report on whether the package holiday comeback continues in first quarter results on Thursday.

At its last update in December, the group said UK holidaymakers looking to escape to the sun after last year's dismal summer also resulted in a surge in bookings for next summer, up 12%.

And its unique holidays – including Couples, Sensatori and SplashWorld – were already up 18% for summer 2013, accounting for 83% of bookings.

week ahead

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