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AB Foods Forecasts Earnings Growth In 2019-20 Year

Associated British Foods has kept its forecast for earnings growth in its 2019-20 year with anticipated progress in its sugar and grocery businesses supplementing the further expansion of its Primark fashion chain.

The group said that its AB Sugar business will 'benefit materially' from an increase in EU sugar prices last year, as well as from further cost reduction, while its Grocery division will likely see 'another year of strong profit and margin growth'.

'Expect Progress'

"We still expect progress, on both a reported and an IFRS 16 adjusted basis, in adjusted earnings per share for the group for this financial year," chairman Michael McLintock said in a statement ahead of its annual shareholders' meeting.

On Brexit, McLintock added, "Our businesses have completed all practical preparations for Brexit and contingency plans are in place should our businesses experience some disruption at the time of exit."

Analysts' average forecast for 2019-20 EPS is 148 pence, according to Refinitiv data, up from 137.5 pence made in 2018-19.

Shares in AB Foods, the majority of which are owned by the family of CEO George Weston, have increased 22% so far this year. They closed on Thursday at 2,497 pence, valuing the business at £19.7 billion.

News by Reuters, edited by Checkout. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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