Jan 17, 2019

Opening Quote: Primark sweetens ABF’s morning coffee - again

In the past, that has been no bad thing, given the problems with sugar caused by oversupply, But now ABF's Primark operation is proving not quite as easy as ABC. In December ABF said trading at Primark had been "Challenging, in a tough retail market" - and, since then, rival Next has reported a 9.2 per cent drop in store sales over Christmas,. Today, ABF said its outlook for the group is unchanged, with adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share expected to be in line with last year. Analysts were looking for constant currency sales growth at Primark not too far below the 5.2 per cent for the year to September 2018 helped by store expansion. At a group level, ABF had already forecast flat earnings per share for the year to September 2019, at around 135p per share. Like for like sales were down by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, and 0.7 per cent in the year to date.

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