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Friday preview: UK retail sales results released

UK retail sales results out Friday will offer an insight into the broad performance of the sector during December.

UK retail sales results out Friday will offer an insight into the broad performance of the sector during December.

Analysts expect growth to have remained steady last month, with the consensus estimate for the year-on-year increase in sales being maintained at 2.0%, the same as November.

The announcement follows mixed trading updates from UK high street stores over the past few weeks.

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On Thursday Dixons Retail, Europe's second largest supplier of electrical goods, posted a 7% increase in like for like sales over the Christmas period, while baby and maternity retailer Mothercare reported a 7.4% decline in sales.

Associated British Foods posted a 10% rise in group revenue, buttressed by a 12% increase in sugar sales and a 25% jump in retail sales.

While there were many retailers who gained from festive season sales, others failed to overcome difficult economic conditions.

Namely HMV, Comet and Jessops which have entered administration over the past two months.

Matthew Hopkinson - director of a retail information provider Local Data Company - told the Financial Times the collapses this year could drive the number of empty shops in Britain to an estimated new high of 500.

Meanwhile, the UK's main inflation rate remained at 2.7% for the third month in a row, in line with economists' expectations, revealed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Acal, Tarsus Group, UK Mail Group

GMS

SPARK Ventures

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Bovis Homes Group, Record, Spectris

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Retail Sales (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Baronsmead VCT, Baronsmead VCT 2, Carr's Milling Industries, K3 Business Technology Group, Northamber

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