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Barclays figures in spotlight in wake of Libor crisis

ROLLS-ROYCE, Barclays and Lemsip owner Reckitt Benckiser will be among the highlights of another busy few days for corporate results this week.

Barclays will be in the spotlight tomorrow as it announces full-year results.

A traumatic 12 months saw former chief executive Bob Diamond resigning over the Libor fixing probe and Antony Jenkins taking the top job with a remit to overhaul the culture at the bank.

Additional provisions for PPI and interest rate-swap mis-selling have already been trailed and may hit profits.

Mr Jenkins is also expected to provide more detail on his plans to transform the bank.

Engine-maker Rolls-Royce, which is being investigated over bribery allegations relating to its business dealings with overseas customers, will report another jump in profits when it publishes its 2012 results on Thursday. The FTSE 100 engineering company is expected to deliver a 16% rise in underlying profits to £1.4 billion, but the focus will be on the progress of veteran lawyer Lord Gold's review into the company's compliance procedures in the wake of the claims being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Rolls disclosed in December that it was in talks with the SFO in relation to concerns about bribery and corruption in Indonesia and China and warned there was the potential for the prosecution of individuals and the company.

The company, which employs around 40,000 people in more than 50 countries, is expected to see underlying revenues jump to £12bn, from £11.3bn last year.

Contract successes have included a "significant" deal to power the US Navy's fleet of new hovercraft and a record number of orders for its Trent XWB engine that will help reduce jet emissions by 16% and is due to come into service in 2014.

A surge in winter cold and flu bugs should help profits at Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser edge up on Wednesday.

The City expects operating profits to rise to £2.5bn, up from £2.4bn the previous year, after it saw increasing demand for its products Lemsip and Strepsils.

The company behind products ranging from Durex condoms to cleaning product Dettol is also likely to have been buoyed by its fast-growing emerging markets division in Latin America and Asia. According to Panmure Gordon stockbrokers, Reckitt will deliver like-for-like sales growth of 4.2% for the year, which is much lower than the growth of 6.9% seen at rival Unilever due to the Flora owner's higher skew to emerging markets.

With negative currency movements factored in, Panmure is looking for overall sales to be flat at around £9.5bn.

But it is raising its forecasts for the current year due to the weakness of sterling against a number of currencies since the start of the year.

Out-of-town chain Dunelm is expected to post a 15% rise in half-year profits on Tuesday as it continues its march on the homewares market.

Dunelm, which started life as a Leicester curtain stall in 1979, has been one of the bright spots in a difficult retail market in recent years, taking on small and independent competitors with its expanding footprint.

In a trading update in January, chief executive Nick Wharton said the company was on track for half-year profits of up to £60 million, a rise of 15% on a year ago, with its "New Lower Prices" campaign failing to derail margins.

The first-half results will be boosted by a strong first quarter when like-for-like sales were up 1.6%, helped by demand for its "Teddy Bear" textile range, which it launched in 2008.

First-quarter total revenues rose 13.4% to £340.1m for the six months to December 29, after the group opened eight new superstores in the period. It also relocated a shop and reopened its Coventry store after a major fire in 2011.

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond will update the City on the crucial Christmas period tomorrow amid recent signs of a slowdown in the high street "gold rush".

The group's retail business is expected to have fared well over the festive months and investors will be keen to hear if its ranges of second-hand prestige watches continued to boost like-for-like retail sales at the group.

Albemarle saw full-year profits hit by a "sudden slowdown" in gold-buying levels in the middle of last year, following a peak last March, as gold prices pulled back after three years of rapid growth.

Reading-based Albemarle, which has 233 outlets including around 50 gold-buying pop-up stores, said more than half of the shops it has opened since 2009 have made an operating profit. But the group, which also trades as Herbert Brown, has slowed its store-opening programme in response to the drop in gold-buying.

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