Associated British Foods (ABF) share price rises as it increases revenue, profit and earnings

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Primark is ABF's biggest brand (Source: Getty)

Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF) today reported increased revenue, profit and earnings, and announced a 10 per cent hike to its dividend for the 24 weeks to 4 March.

The figures

Group revenue was up 19 per cent to £7.3bn.

Operating profit increased 36 per cent to £652m, while profit before tax was up 35 per cent to £624m.

Earnings per share rose 30 per cent to 59.7p.

The retail group announced an interim dividend of 11.35p per share, up 10 per cent on this time last year.

Shares were up 3.7 per cent at the open.

Why it's interesting

ABF, which also owns Dorset Cereals, Twinings and Ryvita, has received a boost from the weakening of sterling in the months since the Brexit vote – revenue was up seven per cent on a constant currency basis, while the actual increase was 19 per cent.

The firm's sugar business also continued a successful run.

Meanwhile, Primark grew sales again, increasing its share of the clothing market due to more selling space. The discount retailer has been expanding overseas in recent years.

What ABF said

"The underlying growth of the group at constant currency was strong in the first half," said George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods.

"Primark delivered a substantial increase in selling space which, together with its strong consumer offering, contributed to a further increase in our share of the total clothing market. Furthermore, we achieved a more acceptable rate of return in sugar and further good progress was made by our ingredients and grocery businesses."

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