ABF Share Price: Primark Leads Rise in Parent Firm’s Revenue

on Jul 11, 2013

iNVEZZ.com, Thursday, July 11: Associated British Foods Plc’s (LON:ABF) fiscal third quarter revenue has increased by eight percent, helped by robust sales at the company’s Primark clothing outlets. The strong performance of the clothing unit has offset declines at the group’s sugar business.

“The group remains on track to make good progress in adjusted earnings per share for the full year in line with expectation,” the London-based food-processing and retailer company said today. The ABF share price jumped 6.06 percent to 1,925.00p in the morning trading session in London.

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**Primark growth**
An interim management statement from ABF for the 40 weeks ended June 22 showed a significant sales growth at Primark, the group’s clothing business. Primark sales increased year on year by 20 percent in the 16 weeks to June 22 (fiscal third quarter) and by 22 percent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

“Primark’s growth remains particularly impressive with a significant acceleration in growth evident in the last few months,” Graham Jones, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, wrote in a note today, as quoted by Bloomberg.
In June the clothing unit, which has no online store, began selling some of its products through Asos Plc (ASC), the U.K.’s largest online-only fashion retailer. It also plans to open its first shop in France.

**Sugar and other divisions**
ABF’s agriculture unit delivered better-than expected revenue, contributing to the rise in group revenue. Sales at the unit increased year on year by 18 percent in the 16 weeks to June 22 and by 12 percent in ABF’s first three fiscal quarters, with the group attributing the rise to increased demand at its UK feed business, AB Connect.

!m[Steep Fall in Sugar Sales](/uploads/story/3889/thumbs/pic1_inline.PNG)
Fiscal-third quarter sales from the group’s ingredients unit were up five percent, contributing to a two percent increase in the first nine months of the fiscal year. Grocery sales rose seven percent in the quarter.
Sugar was ABF’s only business to see a decline in sales during the third quarter. The 15 percent drop

was due to “different phasing of UK volumes and the timing of shipments of Zambian exports to the EU.” Still, fiscal-year-to-date results showed an increase of one percent in sugar sales and the group said that full-year sales were expected to be in line with its original projections.
**The ABF share price was 1,903.00p as of 11.52 GMT, 11.07.2013**


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