Apr 17, 2018

Opening Quote: Primark can’t sweeten ABF results

Despite sales growth of 7 per cent, adjusted operating profit was only up 4 per cent to £341m in the six month period. In November's full-year results, Primark's revenues had risen 12 per cent at constant currency, and its operating profit by 5 per cent. Pre-tax profits fell 30 per cent to £603m, with the drop exaggerated because of business sales in 2017. With a net increase of 56 stores across Europe, a further nine stores opened in the Asia Pacific region, and a first JD store in South Korea, group revenue rose 33 per cent to £3.2bn. But even like-for-like sales were up - by 3 per cent in stores and 30 per cent online. The only two large intraday price rises since 2010 have both been inspired by activist investors: December's 7.5 per cent jump on news that US fund Sachem Head had taken a 3.4 per cent stake in Whitbread, and Monday's 7.3 per cent uplift after Elliott Advisors was revealed as a 6 per cent shareholder.

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