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Morrisons and G4S prepare for slump

Supermarket Morrisons and embattled security giant G4S will lay bare the impact of a tough year for both firms when they report annual results this week.

Morrisons will reveal a slide in profits on Thursday after a dismal year for the supermarket as it also faces up to the threat of a full-scale price war among the "big four" players.

The Bradford-based chain warned over profits after a hefty 5.6% drop in underlying sales over the key Christmas period - a performance described as "quite awful" by one retail expert.

Scandal-hit security giant G4S will no doubt be hoping to draw a line under a dire past two years when it reports annual figures on Wednesday ­following the revelation that it overcharged the Ministry of Justice.

The Government announced that the tagging contract will be handed to outsourcing competitor Capita at the end of the financial year, while G4S recently agreed to repay the Ministry of Justice £24.1 million for the billing errors and has also forked out £2m for investigation costs.

The crisis erupted after G4S had barely had time to recover from the Olympics fiasco, when it failed to provide all of its 10,400 contracted guards.

Pre-tax profits dived by 32% to £175m in 2012 after the Olympics hit.

Results for 2013 are expected to reveal another sharp decline, with analysts at Exane BNP Paribas pencilling in a 13% drop in underlying earnings to £450m.

It admitted earlier this month it was battling a "material loss of momentum" after the scandal over its criminal tagging contract left annual profits 62% lower.

Home Retail Group's long-standing boss Terry Duddy will present his last set of figures for the Argos and Homebase business on Thursday before he hands over the reins on March 14.

The catalogue chain saw like-for-like sales jump 3.8% in the 18 weeks to January 4, with 46% of all sales made over the internet.

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