The last of the banking sector results will be delivered by HSBC on Monday, while ITV and the owner of British Airways will reveal how they have coped with economic turbulence.
The bonuses paid by HSBC will spark further anger over bankers’ pay on Monday amid reports it plans to force shareholders to pick up more of the tab.
It is understood that HSBC will create hundreds of millions of pounds of new shares, which it will sell on the market to fund the cash element of larger bonuses for UK staff.
Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King has called on banks to limit payments to staff and shareholders in order to build up a cushion to help them deal with any future financial crises.
But while the scheme will boost its cash reserves, it is likely to anger investors who will effectively see their stake in the company diluted to pay for bonuses.
Barclays, RBS and Lloyds have already reported that they have cut their bonus pools amid falling profits, though it remains to be seen whether HSBC will follow suit by reducing pay.
In 2010, it paid its 295,000 staff some $19.8 billion, while its highest paid banker was paid between £8.4 million and £8.5 million.
But it will come under less pressure to act because it did not need to go cap in hand to taxpayers in the financial crisis.
It is also expected to have put in a more resilient performance than its rivals because of its greater exposure to emerging markets, which have been less badly hit by the economic downturn.
There may also be less furore about HSBC’s bonus payments because it is seen as the most likely of the big four banks to leave the UK to avoid the costly reforms being brought in by the Government, which include forcing banks to separate their retail and investment arms.
It has complained that the new tax on banks’ balance sheets is unfairly penalising it, while it is due to carry out a fresh review of where its headquarters should be in the wake of the Government’s reforms.
HSBC has already said it has exceeded targets agreed with the Government to lend £38.8 billion to businesses, with £11.7 billion for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The City will also be on the look out for any news of fresh job cuts.
HSBC, which employs some 50,000 people in the UK, has already announced it is to cut 30,000 jobs over the next two years as part of a cull that will affect 10 per cent of its workforce.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley expect the group to report that operating profits fell to $27.5 billion in 2011, down from $30.8 billion (£19.6 billion) the previous year.
Profits in the final quarter of 2011 are predicted to fall to $3.2 billion from $4.3 billion a year ago as its investment banking arm is slowed by the eurozone debt crisis.
It is expected to book more charges on loan impairments in the US but its business in Asia will prove more resilient. HSBC has already earmarked some £270 million to cover compensation for mis-selling payment protection insurance in the UK but this is much less than some of its rivals.
Its operating expenses, which include the Government’s levy on bank balance sheets, is forecast to rise to $10.8 billion.
The popularity of The X Factor, Doc Martin and Downton Abbey has boosted ITV’s ratings in recent months but it will reveal on Wednesday whether the recent economic malaise has taken its toll.
The group last updated the market by saying that advertising revenues rose 1 per cent in the three months to September 30, defying expectations of a fall, while its share of the TV market was up 2 per cent to 23 in the first nine months of the year.
But it warned it expected a 10 per cent fall in advertising revenues in December as it came up against tough prior year comparisons, and it was cautious about the outlook for 2012.
Advertising is highly dependent on the broader economy because it is easily scrapped by companies when times get hard, and with the economy teetering on the edge of the recession, there are fears that ITV may bear the brunt.
The City expects the group, which is home to Coronation Street, to report a 12 per cent profits hike to £361 million but will be on the look-out for any signs of a slowdown.
STV, which holds the ITV licence for much of Scotland, last week reported a fall in advertising revenues in early 2012, which some analysts suggest may bode ill for ITV.
However, reports suggest that recent programmes have continued to attract large audiences, with some six million watching Adele’s success at the Brit awards and the second series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.
Its studios business has also put in a strong performance in recent months after it was rejuvenated as part of ITV’s five-year transformation plan under Adam Crozier.
It has invested in 89 new commissions, including Titanic, a major new drama for 2012 which has been sold to 57 countries.
The group is set to benefit from the Euro 2012 football championships and advertising around the Olympics later on in the year.
Transport group National Express will provoke more passenger anger on Wednesday when it reveals a 13 per cent profits hike after hiking fares.
The group, which runs the c2c and East Anglia rail services between London and Essex as well as buses in the West Midlands and Dundee and a national coach service, has benefited over the past year as the soaring cost of petrol has forced people onto public transport.
Train operators were allowed to put their fares up by an average of 5.9 per cent in January, following an average 6.2 per cent increase last year, while analysts said National was also expected to bring in an inflationary rise in bus fares in 2012.
When it last updated the market chief executive Dean Finch said the company was “finishing 2011 in excellent shape” with all three divisions enjoying revenues growth.
The City expects it to report a 13% rise in pre-tax profits to £180.7 million in 2011, on revenues up 5 per cent to £2.2 billion.
The group recently said profit margins in its bus division have climbed back to above average levels for the industry, while passenger numbers returned to growth in the West Midlands. It has added 250 new buses to the division, which operates more than 1,600 vehicles and employs 5,800 people.
The coach division has seen revenues driven by an increase in airport, long-haul and London services, it added.
The company has also been adding routes to its coach businesses, which serves around 1,000 destinations and employs 1,600 people, and has drawn in customers with new special offer fares following the successful launch of its £9 go anywhere deal over the summer.
The Government last year removed a concession that helped over-60s travel on coaches for half-price and was used for about three million National Express journeys a year. But the group has countered this by launching senior and disabled persons’ coach cards and putting on more promotions.
The owner of British Airways will report that underlying profits doubled in 2011 despite it absorbing a 30 per cent hike in fuel costs.
International Airlines Group (IAG), which was formed through the merger of Spanish carrier Iberia with BA, recently said it expects profits to soar over the next four years as it benefits from the tie-up.
The City reckons it will report operating profits of 277 million euros (£234.5 million) in 2011 but IAG said this figure could hit 1.5 billion euros (£1.3 billion) in 2015.
Greater than expected cost savings from the merger, efficiencies through buying planes that use less fuel and organic growth will deliver most of the expected gains.
IAG also plans to snap up smaller airlines as the rising cost of fuel and the squeeze in consumer spending drives consolidation in the industry.
It recently agreed to buy troubled airline BMI in a move which will increase its hold on the take off and landing slots at Heathrow airport.
Geoff van Klaveren, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, expects the group to report a 10.5 per cent rise in revenues in 2011 which will help it offset a 31 per cent hike in its fuel bill, allowing operating profits to double.
He predicts the group will make operating profits of 31 million euros (£26.2 million) in the final quarter of 2011, up from 6 million euros (£5.1 million) in the previous year.
It has already reported that traffic has continued to grow in the final quarter of 2011, with December up 12 per cent as it came up against weaker comparisons with the previous year when Arctic weather closed Heathrow.
Its premium tickets - first class and business class - have been growing faster than standard tickets, which will boost its profitability because they command higher margins.
However, there has been a slowdown in traffic growth in January after its Spanish operations were hit by strikes, although it said demand at Heathrow remained “firm”.
Mr van Klaveren said: “Despite a strong fuel headwind and exceptional costs incurred by industrial action, the core business is performing well.”
But the City will be looking out for any signs that the economic gloom is beginning to hurt IAG or cause more passengers to desert to budget rivals.
And with 4% of its revenues coming from bookings with banks, the City will be looking for any sign that the recent fall in profits at lenders is having an impact on IAG’s revenues.
The demise of the high street and the continuing popularity of movies has played further into the hands of the owner of Frankie & Benny’s restaurants in recent months.
The Restaurant Group’s 400 sites, which also include Chiquito and Garfunkel’s eateries, are mainly located at out of town retail parks, which are increasingly drawing shoppers away from beleaguered town centres.
And with many Frankie & Benny’s outlets situated near cinemas, the group has also benefited as movies continue to be seen as an affordable treat even in bleak economic times.
The group is expected to report on Wednesday that profits rose 10 per cent to £60.7 million in the year to January 1.
It has already said that sales rose 7.3 per cent in the year, helped by opening 25 restaurants. But profits are expected to have surged because the popularity of its locations has meant it has not been sucked into the frenzy of discounting that has hurt many of its rivals.
Wayne Brown, an analyst at Collins Stewart, said: “With no exposure to the high street, its estate is benefiting from the structural changes within the retail sector.
“Its distinctive estate bias towards airports and leisure and retail parks, a high level of repeat business, coupled with its value proposition, has provided a resilient performance during the recession.”
And the group’s Garfunkel’s restaurants, which are all in London, have benefited because consumer demand has held up better in the capital than in many parts of the country.
The group expects to open between 25 and 30 restaurants in 2012, creating up to 600 jobs.