Shares in Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) have fallen into the red in London this morning as the Primark owner updated investors on its recent trading, warning of a currency hit to its full-year results. The blue-chip group nevertheless reaffirmed its outlook.
As of 09:46 BST, AB Foods’ share price had given up 1.77 percent to 2,229.72p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally higher and currently standing 0.12 percent up at 7,286.08 points. The group’s shares have lost just under a third of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.4-percent dip in the Footsie.
AB Foods updates on trading
AB Foods announced in a statement this morning that its out outlook for the financial year to September 15 remained unchanged, with progress expected in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share. The company is expected to have benefitted from strong profit performances at its Primark, Grocery, Agriculture and Ingredients divisions, which are forecast to have more than offset the adverse effect of lower EU sugar prices.
The Primark owner, however, cautioned that with two thirds of its profit earned outside the UK, the strengthening of sterling will result in a loss on translation this year of some £20 million.
Reuters data shows that analysts on average are forecasting adjusted operating profit of £1.41 billion and adjusted earnings per share of 133.3p for 2017-18, up from £1.36 billion and 127.1p.
Analysts on Primark owner
The 17 analysts offering 12-month price targets for AB Foods for the Financial Times have a median target of 3,000.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 3,500.00p and a low estimate of 2,250.00p. As of September 7, the consensus forecast amongst 21 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.