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Primark Owner AB Foods' First-Half Profit Held Back By Sugar

Published on Apr 17 2018 9:19 AM in Retail tagged: Trending Posts / AB Foods / Primark / Financial Results

Primark Owner AB Foods' First-Half Profit Held Back By Sugar

Associated British Foods on Tuesday reported a 1% fall in first-half profit, with a resilient performance at its Primark fashion business offset by a previously flagged dip in the performance of its sugar business.

In January AB Foods had warned that revenue and profit from sugar would fall more than previously forecast in 2017-18 because of lower prices across the European Union.

For the six months to 3 March the group, which also owns major grocery, ingredients and agriculture businesses, made adjusted operating profit of £648 million. That compares with company guidance of a "flat" outcome and £652 million made in the first half of its 2016-17 year.

Group revenue rose 2% to £7.42 billion.

On a constant currency basis sales and profit growth was achieved in all of the divisions, other than sugar, where the reduction was as expected.

The group maintained its full-year outlook, forecasting "progress" in both adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share (EPS).

Second-Half Acceleration

It forecast a second-half acceleration in profit growth at Primark, due to margin improvement, and continued profit growth from the other non-sugar businesses.

"These should more than offset the decline in profit at AB Sugar in the balance of the year," said chairman Michael McLintock.

Shares in the group, down 23% over the last six months, closed Monday at 2,583 pence, valuing the business at £20.3 billion.

The group is majority-owned by the family of chief executive George Weston.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine. 

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