Tuesday preview: Associated British Foods unveils first-half results

Associated British Foods' (ABF) results on Tuesday will reflect a surge in international sales growth at its clothing retail arm Primark, according to analysts.

Associated British Foods' (ABF) results on Tuesday will reflect a surge in international sales growth at its clothing retail arm Primark, according to analysts.

The FTSE 100 company will release its half-year report on Thursday which is expected to show a 44% jump in profits to £222m at Primark - contributing almost half of its parent company's bottom line.

Primark accounts for about a third of ABF's sales, with agriculture, sugar, grocery and ingredients accounting for the rest.

However, Credit Suisse showed caution last week ahead of the statement, downgrading ABF to 'neutral' from 'outperform'.

"It is very easy to get carried away with ABF estimates, in our view," the broker said on April 16th.

"Add up Primark growth, margins in grocery getting to 10%, returns on recent investments and reversing Chinese/Australian losses, and forecasts can get out of hand. But we think the nature of ABF is 'swings and roundabouts' - it would be a truly exceptional few years were everything to go right.

"Primark profit growth looks strong, but we doubt it can continue at the 7.0% like-for-like seen in the first half. We tweak our estimates ahead of interims on April 23rd."

Primark aside, ABF's crops of cotton, wheat and sugar also play an important part in the make-up of the group's profits. Credit Suisse said it was a less predictable section of the company as weather, politics, retailers and competitors are hard to factor.

Tuesday April 23rd

INTERIMS

Associated British Foods

Next Fifteen Communications

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

British Sky Broadcasting Group

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Dow Chemical Co, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Middlefield Canadian Income PCC, Schroder Income Growth Fund

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

House Price Index (US) (15:00)

New Homes Sales (US) (15:00)

Q1

ARM Holdings, OJSC Magnit GDR (Reg S), Telekomunikacja Polska S.A GDR (Reg S), Torchmark Corp.

FINALS

Aseana Properties Ltd., JSC Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System GDR (REG S), LiDCO Group, Snoozebox Holdings

SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

DP World Limited

AGMS

Herald Inv Trust

Premier Energy & Water Trust

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

CBI Industrial Trends Survey (11:00)

Public Sector Finances (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Jupiter Fund Management

IMSS

Premier Foods

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Carpetright

RD

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