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Primark Sales Fall as UK Weather Bites

Associated British Foods ABF Whoever would have thought that ABF would be reduced to the state where it has to blame poor sales at Primark on unseasonable UK weather. First Christmas was too hot and then March and April were too cold, it bleats. It has also joined that raft of companies which has now started to benefit substantially from the weakness of sterling, which was supposed to help the UK’s manufacturing industries export more not save the management of companies like ABF from embarassing results. At constant currency Primark sales are expected to have been  9% ahead for the 53 weeks to 17th September but the unavoidable truth is that like for like sales fell 2%.

Overall ABF expects the second half operating performance will have been ahead of expectations plus added benefits coming from sterling weakness. Full year earnings per share are expected to be marginally ahead of last year, as are grocery revenues.

Anglo Asian Mining AAZ Stronger metal prices have helped Anglo Asian return to profitability for the half year to 30th June, last years loss of $4.1m being turned into a profit of $3.5m. Strong first half production figures saw record copper and silver production with gold slightly down but gold bullion sales fell sharply. The figures were also helped by a fall of 26% in cash operating costs.

Restore plc RST is increasing its interim dividend by 33% after like for like adjusted profit before tax rose by 26% for the half year to 30th June. Revenue for the half year rose by 26% on a like for like basis and EBITDA by 37%

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