Sep 10, 2018

Opening Quote: ABF’s Primark medicine helps sugar go down

In recent times, Associated British Foods has relied on its Primark clothes stores to sweeten its ever diminishing returns from sugar. So a fire that destroyed the Belfast branch of Primark last month, at an estimated cost of £75m, threatened to leave a hole in more than just the city's historic Bank Buildings. In July, some analysts had wondered whether ABF's confidence in a better than expected outlook at Primark - which accounts for 54 per cent of group profits - was well founded. ABF merely said Primark's operating profit margins in the second half would be "Well ahead" of the 9.8 per cent achieved in the first six months of the year. In seven years, RPC has quadrupled sales, to almost £4bn, while adjusted operating profit, the company' s preferred measure, has grown even faster.

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