Another significant week for corporate results will see updates from banking giant HSBC and ITV.
HSBC is the last of the UK’s big banks to post annual figures and its results on Monday will be combed for details on how much it will pay out to investment bankers and top bosses.
The group’s chairman recently told MPs its compensation ratio was likely to be around the same level as in 2009, but this was before the Project Merlin agreement with the government was announced. The bank paid out around 2 billion US dollars (£1.2 billion) for its investment bankers in 2009.
Amid speculation it may have inflated salaries to avoid a backlash over bonuses, chairman Douglas Flint confirmed earlier this month that it had taken 150 million dollars (£93 million) from the bonus pool to boost pay.
Its annual report – due out alongside the results – is expected to confirm how much was paid to former chief executive Michael Geoghegan, who was replaced by investment banking boss Stuart Gulliver in December. Mr Gulliver’s windfall for 2010 is also likely to be laid bare, having taken a a £9 million share bonus award in the previous year.
HSBC, which did not need taxpayer bail out cash during the financial crisis, is set to report a sharp rise in pre-tax profits to around 20.6 billion dollars (12.8 billion) in 2010, up from 7.1 billion dollars (£4.4 billion) in 2009, according to analysts. Its results have been helped by a hefty reduction in bad debt losses, a trend which has boosted figures across the industry.
Meanwhile, ITV is expected to reveal that profits more than doubled in 2010 after it benefited from a revival in the advertising market.
The broadcasting giant, which is home to hit shows The X Factor, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and Coronation Street, is forecast to announce that it made pre-tax profits of £298 million in 2010, up from £108 million the previous year.
Analysts at Numis Securities predict that advertising revenues increased by 16% in the year after receiving a first-half boost from the World Cup.
A strong line-up of hit shows helped generate further increases in advertising revenues in its final quarter, with the finals of talent show The X Factor reported to pull in up to £250,000 for a 30-second slot. Downton Abbey also drew an audience of more than 10 million for its final episode. Other broadcasters, including Europe’s largest broadcaster RTL and Scottish ITV franchise owner STV, have also reported strong results in recent weeks.