Associated British Foods half-year profits climb 20%

Associated British Foods, owners of clothing chain Primark and grocery brands including Twinings, Ryvita and Kingsmill, has reported a 20% increase in half-year profits.

Primark

The London-based food and retail group posted underlying pre-tax profits of £331m for the half-year to 27 February.

Primark has continued to perform strongly with profits up 18% to £144m in the past six months. Revenues rose 19% to £1.26bn, with like-for-like sales climbing by 8%.

ABF’s grocery brands, which also include Silver Spoon, also posted strong growth.

The positive result comes after the group expressed concern about the pace of recovery and the uncertain outlook for the UK consumer, despite Primark sales increasing 8% in the previous six months driven by “strong” Christmas trading.

“Encouraged by the success to date and the strong momentum of the business into the second half, we are currently confident of achieving very good progress in earnings for the full year,” the group said in a results statement.

Chief executive George Weston adds: “The investments made in recent years are now delivering very satisfying returns throughout the group.”

Kingsmill recently signed a partnership with ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent to launch an on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to win a prizes, including tickets to the live show and live tour.

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