Shares in Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) have fallen into the red today, missing out on the broader market rally, as the company revealed that it had seen challenging trading at its Primark chain last month. The statement comes ahead of the group’s annual general meeting later today.
As of 09:47 GMT, AB Foods’ share price had given up 2.30 percent to 2,296.00p, underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 1.49 percent higher at 6,803.80 points. The group’s shares have given up just under a fifth of their value over the past year, as compared with about a seven-percent loss in the Footsie.
AB Foods reports challenging Primark trading
AB Foods’ chairman Michael McLintock said in a statement today that while sales and profits for the first eight weeks of trading in the new financial year had been in line with expectations, the company had seen challenging Primark trading last month. He, however, reassured investors that the group’s expectation for the increase in the fashion chain’s profit remained unchanged.
“At this early stage, we still expect adjusted earnings per share for the group for this financial year to be in line with the 2018 financial year,” he pointed out.
The update comes after AB Foods posted its full-year results last month, posting a rise in revenue and profits, while flagging ‘significantly lower’ profits from its Sugar business in the new financial year.
PIRC recommends vote against CEO pay package
The statement comes as the group prepares to hold its annual general meeting today and City A.M. reported earlier this week that advisory group Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) had recommended that shareholders vote against the ‘excessive’ pay package of the company’s chief executive George Weston.
PIRC also recommended that shareholders vote against the re-election of AB Foods’ non-executive director Emma Adamo, saying that she was “not considered to be independent as she is a representative of Wittington Investments Limited, which holds 54.5 percent of the company’s voting rights”.