Associated British Foods ABF Yesterdays headline trumpeted that Primark blamed three periods of unseasonable weather for sales sliding by 2.1% over the year to the 15th September. But today a new day has dawned and brought with it new headlines as the media stands on its head and proclaims that today’s truth is that Primark has in fact delivered a strong performance with sales rising by 1%. Like for like sales in the UK rose by 1.2% where its share of the clothing market grew significantly. Despite suffering in Europe where sales were weak and fell by 4.7%, total sales including those from fifteen new stores in nine countries, grew by 5%
Perhaps George Weston the CEO got it right when he calmly headlined that it had been another year of progress, with strong profits, not only from Primark but from each of its other world beating divisions, grocery, agriculture and ingredients, with only sugar letting the side down. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 5% and earnings per share by 6% whilst the final dividend is increased by a healthy 10% in line with the promises of a strong profit performance made in Septembers update.
Marks & Spencer Group MKS
waved its magicians wand and produced a 7.1% increase in profit before tax after revenue which fell by 3.1% in the half year to the 29th September. The company is now going through the first phase of it transformation programme which includes the closure of over 100 stores and the introduction of a” new, very determined and energetic management team” which indicates that the previous management team must have been regarded as somewhat lacking in these qualities. The store closures had their effect on revenue with Clothing & Home down 2.7%, Food down by 0.2% or 2.9% on a like-for-like basis, reflecting tough trading. Looking at the level of their food prices perhaps there is little wonder that trading was tough.
Persimmon PSN “All gone” is the word from Persimmon which admits that at the end of its third quarter on the 6th November it is fully sold up for the current year and forward sales beyond 2018 are 9% up on a year ago. Sales prices remain firm and consumer confidence is described as being resilient.
Dairy Crest Group DCG claims delivery of a good performance in the half year to the 30th September, driven by its two largest brands, Cathedral City and Clover. Profit before tax fell by 88% and basic earnings per share by 89%. Revenue rose by 2% and the interim dividend is to be increased by the same amount
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