By Sabela Ojea and Jaime Llinares Taboada
Associated British Foods PLC said Monday that its full-year adjusted operating profit is now expected to surpass the previous year's despite lower-than-expected sales, and that Primark and the AB Food business are anticipated to exceed management's previous expectations.
The British conglomerate said that Primark's adjusted operating profit for the year ending Sept. 18 is expected to be ahead of last year, and that the operating margin for the fourth quarter was strong.
The FTSE 100 listed company said adjusted earnings per share are anticipated to be marginally ahead of last year.
However, Primark sales growth softened in the fourth quarter as a result of measures to contain the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant in countries like Spain and the U.K. Fourth-quarter sales are expected to be 17% lower than in the same period of fiscal 2019.
"We have seen a significant improvement in trading as the period progressed, from a weekly decline in like-for-like sales of 24% at the start of the period to a decline of 10% in recent weeks," the company said.
Regarding its AB Sugar business, the company said that full-year revenue is expected to be 7% ahead of last year.
Shares at 0805 GMT were down 3.8% at 1,895 pence.
Write to Sabela Ojea at email@example.com and Jaime Llinares at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 13, 2021 04:32 ET (08:32 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.