AB Foods Says Fiscal Year 2017 Pretax Profit Boosted By Primark Sales

By Maryam Cockar Features Dow Jones Newswires

Associated British Foods PLC (ABF.LN) on Tuesday posted better-than-expected pretax profit for fiscal 2017 after earnings were boosted by sales at its fast-fashion retail business, Primark.

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For the year ended Sept. 16, the food, ingredients and retail company made a profit of 1.58 billion pounds ($2.07 billion) compared with GBP1.04 billion a year earlier. This was above the consensus estimate of GBP1.40 billion provided by a FactSet poll of eight analysts.

Adjusted operating profit--a preferred measure of the company's that strips out exceptional and other one-off items--increased to GBP1.36 billion from GBP1.11 billion, representing a rise of 13% at constant currency. Analysts had expected adjusted operating profit of GBP1.30 billion.

Group revenue rose 6% at constant currency to GBP15.38 billion from GBP13.40 billion last year, which was slightly ahead the consensus forecast of GBP15.20 billion. This included a 19% increase in Primark sales, which came in at GBP7.05 billion, and a 33% rise in sugar sales that brought them to GBP2.17 billion.

FTSE 100-listed AB Foods declared a final dividend of 29.65 pence, bringing the full-year dividend to 41 pence, up 12% from last year.

The company said that it expects Primark to generate more profit in the new fiscal year, but added that higher volumes and lower costs will only partially offset the effect of much lower prices in the European Union for the sugar segment.

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Write to Maryam Cockar at maryam.cockar@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2017 02:51 ET (07:51 GMT)