Shares in Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) have fallen into the red in today’s session, as the Primark owner revealed that it expects to deliver interim earnings broadly in line with last year. The update comes after the company said earlier this year that its revenue had climbed two percent in the 16 weeks to January 5, finding support in strong performance at Primark.
As of 08:40 GMT, AB Foods’ share price had given up 1.12 percent to 2,287.00p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.25 percent higher at 7,196.75 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 13 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.7-percent fall in the Footsie.
AB Foods updates on trading
AB Foods announced in a statement this morning that it expects its half-year adjusted earnings per share to be broadly in line with the same period last year, with lower net financial expenses offsetting a small reduction in adjusted operating profit. The company further noted that other than the expected reduction in Sugar revenue, sales growth will be delivered by all businesses.
Sales at its Primark chain are expected to be four percent ahead of last year in the first half, driven by increased retail selling space partially offset by a two-percent decline in like-for-like sales. The clothing chain’s profit meanwhile is expected to be well ahead of the same period last year.
Analysts on Primark owner
The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for AB Foods for the Financial Times have a median target of 2,750.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 3,280.00p and a low estimate of 2,100.00p. As of February 23, the consensus forecast amongst 23 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.