Primark-owner Associated British Foods has reported a 3% fall in first-half profit and kept its guidance for a flat outcome in the full year, staying cautious about the resilience of consumer spending.
The group, which also owns major sugar, grocery and ingredients businesses, said adjusted operating profit, its key profit measure, was £684 million (€772.73 million) in the six months to March 4, on revenue up 21% to £9.56 billion (€10.8 billion).
For the full 2022-23 year, the group expects adjusted operating profit broadly in line with the £1.44 billion (€1.63 billion) made in 2021-22.
'At Primark, we remain cautious about the resilience of consumer spending in the face of ongoing inflation in the cost of living and higher interest rates,' it said.
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“This period was marked by extreme and volatile inflation in all our businesses," commented George Weston, chief executive. "We have taken considerable action to mitigate these costs through operational cost savings and, where appropriate, pricing.
"The performance of our Food businesses was resilient in aggregate, underpinned by an exceptional performance at Ingredients. We were very pleased with the improvement in Primark sales, which recovered strongly from the second half of the last financial year and drove operating profit margin up to 8.3%, higher than we had expected."
Weston also said that the group was announcing plans to enter the southern states of the US with its Primark brand.