Primark, grocery help AB Foods post 2% profit rise
Associated British Foods reported a rise in adjusted full year profits as its Primark and grocery businesses offset a sharp fall in sugar earnings.
Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 2% to £1.4bn on a a 2% increase in group revenue to £15.8bn.
“Next year the group is well-positioned for further progress, with the continued expansion of Primark, a material improvement in our Sugar profit and strong profit growth in Grocery," said chief executive George Weston.
The discount clothing retailer Primark marked its 50th anniversary with an 8% increase in adjusted operating profit to £913m as it added 14 stores across the UK and continental Europe.
"Looking forward, France, Italy, Spain, eastern Europe and the US provide the most significant prospects for further growth," the company said on Tuesday.
Sugar profits slumped 79% to £26m due to lower EU sugar prices and a poor crop in China. AB Foods said cost cutting and an improving EU sugar prices should help the business recover in 2019-20.