Jan 18, 2018

Revealed: Another private company profiting from public sector

Royal Mail is on track to deliver a profit, as revenue in the nine months to December 24 was up 2 per cent - exactly in line with growth at the half-year stage, when the group made £250m on a pre-tax basis. Although the market thought Primark's 7 per cent sales increase looked drab compared with forecasts, and new selling space may be dressing up a like-for-like sales fall, those looking more closely in the bags realised they simply did not contain much European winterwear last October. Sugar - which delivers 15 per cent of operating profit - recorded a worse than expected 12 per cent fall in revenues, as EU quotas were scrapped. Groceries - another 22 per cent of operating profit - were up 4 per cent, helped by Twinings tea, Ovaltine, and Kingsmill bread. ABF shares fell 3.6 per cent on the news. A 231 per cent share price rise in a decade suggests appetite for a balanced diet - even if it still mainly comes in a 5p bag.

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