Primark growth boosts AB Food full-year profits

Kasmira Jefford
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ASSOCIATED British Foods (ABF) said yesterday it expects to post forecast- beating profits for the second half of the year as sales at the discount clothing chain Primark continue to surge.

Full-year sales at Primark, which accounts for about a third of the group’s profit, are expected to be 22 per cent ahead of last year thanks to new store openings and sales growth of close to five per cent at stores open over a year.

The discount clothing retailer will have opened 16 new stores in Britain and Europe by the end of the year, taking its total estate to 257 stores and 9m square feet.

In July Primark decided to trial selling a limited range of clothes on fashion retailer Asos’ website. However, Primark is understood to have now axed plans to pursue the project in favour of opening physical space.

Unlike the majority of its high street competitors, Primark has held out against selling online in favour of expanding its portfolio stores in the UK and in Europe.

Meanwhile, ABF said it full-year revenue and operating profit at its sugar division would be in line with management expectations.

However, analysts yesterday cut their forecasts concerns EU sugar prices are looking weaker than expected next year.