Apr 17, 2018

Tea-to-fashion group ABF bumps up sales with Primark pick-up in UK

Food and retail group Associated British Foods has slightly missed City forecasts for half-year revenues and reported declining profits as a weak performance in its sugar business combined with mixed sales at its Primark fast-fashion chain. The group, which owns food brands including Twinings and Kingsmill as well as producing sugar and running Primark, posted revenues of £7.4bn for the six months to March, against forecasts of £7.6bn. This was a 2 per cent increase on the same period a year previously. The fall in sugar sales had been expected by investors, as ABF had previously flagged issues with falling EU sugar prices. Overall same-store sales at Primark fell 1.5 per cent during the period, which ABF attributed to unseasonably warm weather in October followed by "Freezing temperatures across northern Europe" in the spring. In the UK Primark's same-store sales rose 3 per cent, which ABF put down to "An increase in selling space and the breadth of our consumer offering" as budget-conscious British shoppers snapped up its cheap clothing, beauty items and homewares.

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