AB Foods share price climbs on modest rise in year-to-date revenue
Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) has posted a modest improvement in its year-to-date performance. The owner of budget fashion retailer Primark and British Sugar said in a trading update this morning that its revenue for the 40 weeks to June 20 was two percent ahead on a constant currency basis and flat at actual exchange rates, as the weakness of the euro against a wide basket of currencies impacted upon results.
Primark’s sales were 13 percent up on a constant currency basis and nine percent higher at actual rates. Trading in AB Foods’ grocery and agriculture businesses remained on track, but AB Foods said the difficulties in its British Sugar business continued to bite. While its 2014/15 campaign produced 1.45 million tonnes of sugar, the new crop for the 2015/16 season, despite progressing well, is expected to see sugar production fall to one million due to a reduction in the area under cultivation of 20 percent.
Looking ahead, the FTSE 100-listed group maintained its guidance, predicting a modest decline in adjusted earnings per share in the current year, from the 104.1p made in 2014.
Analyst Darren Shirely at Shore Capital said he did not anticipate changing his financial estimates following today’s update. He has forecast pre-tax profit of £999 million equating to earnings per share of 95.5p, which would represent a fall of roughly eight percent on the previous year.
AB Foods’ share price rose at the opening bell this morning. By 09:17 BST, the stock had gained 3.48 percent to stand at 3,032.89p.
As of 09:40 BST, Thursday, 09 July, Associated British Foods plc share price is 3,033.50p.
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