CHRISTMAS was sweet and sour for Primark owner Associated British Foods, with the discount clothing chain reporting a 15 per cent jump in sales over the festive period.
However, ABF forecast a slight decline in full-year profits after reporting a three per cent rise in group revenues for the last quarter at constant currency rates.
It said growth at Primark and its grocery, ingredients and agriculture divisions would be offset by falling profits at its sugar business.
It said: “With the fall in EU sugar prices and weakness in the world sugar price, we expect a further large reduction in profit from AB Sugar, but this will put much of the effect of the structural changes in EU prices, seen over the last three years, behind us.”
ABF added: “We expect a decline in adjusted operating profit for the group but the impact on earnings will be mitigated by much lower tax and interest charges. Sterling’s strength against most of our major trading currencies will also have a negative effect.”