Associated British Foods has had an excellent fiscal year thanks to budget fashion chain Primark, which managed to increase its turnover 16 % to 4.95 billion pounds (6.3 billion euro) and its profit 29 % to 662 million pounds (850 million euro).
Profit up nearly 30 %
"Another magnificent year", CEO George Weston described Primark's performance in an interim update. Primark's success has two major causes: its collections have proven to be successful and it has also expanded its store network to 278 stores, 21 more than the year before.
In the past fiscal year, Primark arrived in France with 5 stores that have all generated "exceptional" sales. Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Vienna have also received additional Primark stores, while it has also opened stores in Eindhoven, Enschede and Nijmegen (in the Netherlands).
Low sugar prices are a downer
Primark's popularity pushed AB Foods forward, but its grocery division also performed well. Low sugar prices have however forced AB Foods' total turnover down 3 % to 12.94 billion pounds (16.5 billion euro) in the past fiscal year.
Despite the huge 56 % operating profit drop in the sugar division, AB Foods managed to limit its total operating profit drop to 1 %, reaching 1.08 billion pounds (1.4 billion euro) in total.