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Associated British Foods revenue up in 16 weeks- period

Published 20 January 2014

Associated British Foods reported that its group revenue for the first 16 weeks of the year was in line with last year with double-digit growth at its discount retailer Primark offset by a weaker- than- expected sugar revenues.

For the 16 weeks period ended 4 January, the company said that Primark recorded 14% rise in revenues on a reported basis, while the increase was 12% at constant exchange rates.

The sales were driven by an 8% increase in selling space, strong like-for-like growth and higher sales densities from new stores.

The company noted that the like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks were held back by the unseasonably warm weather and the strong comparatives, while the last eight weeks were boosted by excellent Christmas trading.

Primark's operating profit margin increased from last year, reflecting the Christmas trading, and was better than expected.

The company opened 14 new stores in the period including their first in France.

Revenues from agriculture category remained flat with last year as lower UK feed volumes were offset by growth in China, and a strong performance at AB Vista.

Grocery and ingredients reported a decline of 1% and 2%, in revenues respectively.

At constant currency, grocery revenues increased 2% due to strong growth for tea in the US and the UK. Sales by the UK grocery businesses were in line with last year.