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Associated British Foods 16-week Revenues Rise; Warns On FY Sugar Results

Associated British Foods plc (ASBFY.PK,ABF.L) Thursday reported that Group revenue from continuing operations for the 16 weeks ended January 6 increased 3 percent on a reported basis and 4% at constant currency from the prior year. Further, the company said its outlook is unchanged, with progress expected in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings for the full year.

In its trading update, the company noted that sales growth was delivered by all of its businesses, other than the expected reduction in Sugar revenue, and their combined revenue was 6% ahead at constant currency.

Sales at retail business Primark were 9% higher driven by increased retail selling space. The UK continued to perform well with strong like-for-like sales. The sales growth across Europe was held back by unseasonably warm weather in October.

Primark achieved record sales in the week before Christmas.

Operating margins in the first half are now expected to be close to those in the same period last year.

AB Sugar revenue from continuing operations was down 13 percent. Sales for Grocery were 1% ahead of last year. AB Agri revenue was 13% 12 higher.

Looking ahead, the company noted that a revenue and profit reduction greater than previously forecast is now expected for the full year primarily as a result of significantly lower EU sugar prices, which adversely affected our UK and Spanish businesses.

AB Agri profit growth is expected for the full year.

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