Shares in Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) have advanced in London this morning as the company flagged ‘progress’ in its half-year earnings and reaffirmed its outlook for the full year. The Primark owner’s adjusted profit for the period, however, is expected to be in line with last year, amid weak performance at its Sugar business.
As of 09:10 GMT, AB Foods’ share price had added two percent to 2,698.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.30 percent higher at 7,266.06 points. The group’s shares have added more than three percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.5-percent gain in the Footsie.
AB Foods updates on trading
AB Foods announced in a statement this morning that for the 24 weeks to March 3, it expects sales growth at all of its businesses at constant currency, except for its Sugar unit, where revenue is expected to decline. The company forecasts that its adjusted operating profit will be in line with the prior-year period, but has flagged progress in adjusted earnings per share due to a lower net financial expense and lower group effective tax rate.
The Primark owner maintained its outlook for the full year, with progress expected in both adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share.
Analysts on blue-chip group
The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for AB Foods for the Financial Times have a median target of 3,340.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 3,700.00p and a low estimate of 2,600.00p. As of February 24, the consensus forecast amongst 21 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.