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Primark owner AB Foods reports fall in profit

By Lawrence Gash

Primark’s parent company one of FTSE’s biggest risers

The parent company of the popular high-street retailer Primark has reported a fall in pretax profit of 8.3 per cent in the fiscal year.

These figures have not dimmed investor sentiment, and the food and clothing company has been one of the FTSE’s biggest risers, surging 6.14 per cent to stand at £2,379 in mid-afternoon trading.

Although pretax profit was down on the year ending September 14 from £1.28bn ($1.65bn, €1.5bn) in 2018 to £1.17bn, operating profit excluding exceptional costs was up one per cent on the previous year.

Primark, the clothing chain, helped AB Foods to buck the trend of the declining British retail sector, with sales up 4.2 per cent. Its adjusted operating retail profit increased by £79m on the year prior to £913m.

British Sugar was the biggest drain on the AB Food’s accounts, thanks to falling sugar prices in the EU. British Sugar is effectively the sole buyer of all the sugar beet grown in Britain. Even by AB Food’s preferred metric, the company reported a 79 per cent drop in the adjusted operating profit of its sugar division to £26m.

Nonetheless Investors are sticking to the multinational firm, it has a healthy plan for expansion across Spain and France and it hopes to fully break into the US in the years to come.

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