(Adds detail, comments on currency)
LONDON, Sept 12 Primark-owner Associated British
Foods on Monday raised its earnings outlook for the
second time in two months, benefiting from better-than-expected
second-half trading and favourable currency moves since the
The firm, which also has major sugar, grocery, agriculture
and ingredients businesses, said it now expected earnings per
share (EPS) for the 2015-16 year to be marginally ahead of the
102 pence made in 2014-15.
The firm had raised its outlook in July, saying it no longer
expected a decline in adjusted EPS.
AB Foods also said operating profit for the group would now
be ahead of last year.
"The underlying operating performance of the group has been
ahead of our expectation in the second half and the further
weakening of sterling during the period since the EU referendum
has resulted in a translation benefit," it said.
The firm said full-year sales at Primark are expected to be
9 percent ahead of last year at constant currency, with sales at
stores open over a year down 2 percent, reflecting unseasonable
Underlying revenue and adjusted operating profit for AB
Sugar for the full year, at both actual and constant currency,
were forecast to be ahead of last year.
The group reiterated that if current sterling exchange rates
continue they will have both positive and negative effects on
the group's operating profit in its 2016-17 year.
It said there would be an adverse transactional effect on
the profit margin on Primark's UK sales, a favourable
transactional effect on British Sugar's margins and a
translation benefit on group profits earned outside Britain.
Shares in AB Foods, the majority of which are owned by the
family of Chief Executive George Weston, have increased 7.4
percent over the last three months.
They closed Friday at 3,156 pence, valuing the business at
25 billion pounds ($33.2 billion).
($1 = 0.7537 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)