AB Foods Says Second-Half Profit to Exceed Expectations

Associated British Foods Plc (ABF), the U.K. sugar and ingredient company that also owns the Primark retail chain, said second-half earnings will exceed its own expectations on quicker growth at the fast-fashion chain.

The group’s adjusted operating profit for the second half will top forecasts, while adjusted earnings per share for the 12 months through Sept. 14 “will show good progress,” the London-based maker of Twinings tea said today in a statement.

AB Foods shares have gained 18 percent this year, fueled by prospects for the European expansion of Primark. The chain in June began to sell some of its products through Asos Plc (ASC), the U.K.’s largest online-only fashion retailer, and plans to open its first store in France.

Sales at Primark stores open at least a year should increase 5 percent this year, AB Foods said. That compares with the 5.2 percent median increase based on 11 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Sales and adjusted operating profit for the sugar division “for the full year will be in line with management expectations,” the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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