Revenue up 10 per cent at Associated British Foods

Strong retail and sugar sales buoyed encouraging growth at Associated British Foods for the 16 weeks to January 5th, the group's interim management statement showed.

Strong retail and sugar sales buoyed encouraging growth at Associated British Foods for the 16 weeks to January 5th, the group's interim management statement showed.

Total group revenue rose 10% over the period, buttressed by a 12% increase in sugar sales and a 25% jump in retail sales.

UK sugar sales revenues were ahead of the previous year's with higher sales volumes compared with the last year's abnormally low level and marginally higher sugar prices.

Underpinning the surge in retail growth were strong sales at Primark, which surpassed expectations. This was driven by strong like-for-like growth, a substantial increase in selling space and superior sales densities in the larger new stores.

Like-for-like growth further benefited from comparison with weak sales during the unseasonably warm autumn of 2011 and good trading over the Christmas period.

The period in question was also extremely active for new Primark store openings with 14 outlets commencing business over the period. Six were opened in Spain, four in the UK, one in Germany and the Netherlands each and two in Austria.

The group's net debt as of January 5th was £0.9bn.

MF

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