Apr 24, 2019
Sharp rise in Primark profits support ABF earnings
A sharp rise in profits at Primark boosted earnings at owner Associated British Foods, helping the conglomerate keep its 2019 outlook steady. ABF said on Wednesday that group revenue ticked 1 per cent higher to £7.53bn in the 24 weeks to March 2, while adjusted operating profits slipped 1 per cent to £639m. The full year outlook for the group was unchanged, with adjusted earnings per share expected to be in line with last year. Affordable retailer Primark was responsible for the bulk of ABF's profit in the most recent trading period, 25 per cent higher year-on-year at £426m thanks to a much higher margin. Sales in the UK were 2.3 per cent higher for the period, while like-for-like sales grew by 0.6 per cent. The strong profits at Primark helped offset a 13 per cent fall in revenue at ABF's sugar business, which was hit by lower prices in the EU, while adjusted operating profit in the relatively small agriculture business fell nearly 40 per cent.
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