Primark profits surge as AB Foods reports strong growth

Associated British Foods (ABF) has reported adjusted profit before tax of over £1bn, up 13 per cent for the financial year to 14 September. Primark, the retail arm of the group, had a particularly strong year, increasing profit by 44 per cent and added 10 per cent to its estate. (Release)

Primark's total sales rose by 22 per cent in the period, while like-for-like sales, which doesn't include new store openings, were five per cent higher.

Group revenue was up nine per cent to £13.3bn, while dividends per share rose 12 per cent to 32p. The group also managed to reduce its net debt to £804m.

ABF is one of the world's largest food processing groups, with a large retail arm which includes Irish subsidiary Primark. The group employs 113,000 workers in 47 countries.

George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods, said:

I am delighted to report that the group has again delivered a great set of results. Grocery was much improved, Agriculture achieved record profits, Sugar was in line with our expectations and it was a remarkable year for Primark.

ABF sugar came in below last year's level and is expected to fall further. The group attribute this fall to lower European production. The end of EU sugar quotas for domestic production at the end of 2017 has already had an impact on the market, leading to lower pricing for the year 2014, due increased availability and competition in sugar worldwide.