ABF.L - Associated British Foods plc

LSE - LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp
2,670.00
+6.00 (+0.23%)
At close: 4:39PM GMT
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Previous Close2,664.00
Open2,670.00
Bid2,669.00 x 0
Ask2,670.00 x 0
Day's Range2,646.00 - 2,691.00
52 Week Range2,078.81 - 2,704.27
Volume912,518
Avg. Volume1,074,807
Market Cap21.138B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.43
PE Ratio (TTM)24.03
EPS (TTM)111.10
Earnings DateApr 21, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield0.46 (1.74%)
Ex-Dividend DateDec 12, 2019
1y Target Est2,786.87
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  • Financial Times

    Primark sales rise helped by US growth and overhaul in Germany

    Primark’s same-store sales rose for the first time since 2017 in its most recent trading period, as it warned of a small decline in the UK that was offset by growth in the US and a “notable improvement” in Germany. Across the whole of Primark, sales were up 4.5 per cent at constant exchange rates in the 16 weeks ending January 4, although this was “almost entirely” due to new space. UK same-store sales fell slightly, though total revenue increased 4 per cent driven by new openings, outpacing high street rivals.

  • Barrons.com

    AB Foods Rises as Primark Sales and Sugar Boost Sweeten the Deal for Investors

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  • Primark Emerges as Christmas Winner as Sales Rise Overseas
    Bloomberg

    Primark Emerges as Christmas Winner as Sales Rise Overseas

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Primark’s first pet clothing line boosted Christmas sales, with the discount retailer crediting strong demand for unicorn, hotdog and bumblebee-themed outfits.Items for cats and dogs helped the company report a 4.5% sales gain in constant-currency terms in the last months of the year, the retail chain owned by Associated British Foods Plc said Thursday. Primark outperformed retailers such as Marks & Spencer Group Plc, whose gifting ranges failed to attract customers.Primark contributes more than half of its parent company’s profit, and its performance cheered investors after fears that lower traffic on Britain’s shopping streets over Christmas might have hurt sales. Shares of Associated British Foods rose as much as 3.2% in London.Although Primark’s comparable sales in the U.K. declined slightly, this was expected and was offset by a pickup elsewhere in Europe, particularly in France. Primark increased its market share in the U.K. with particularly strong sales in November and December despite a “soft market,” Finance Director John Bason said by telephone.The chain expects to open 18 stores this year, including one in the U.K. and its first outlet in Slovenia as well as a second store in Poland.In the U.S., where Primark has nine stores, sales grew on a comparable basis and Bason said the store in Brooklyn was “incredibly profitable.” Even though Primark had to make some changes to its early strategy in the U.S., including shrinking some stores, that did not hurt sales, he said.The recovery in continental Europe means Primark’s overall like-for-like sales in first quarter, which the company did not disclose, were slightly positive for the first time since 2017, according to Warren Ackerman and colleagues at Barclays Plc. They forecast “a landmark” 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) of profit for 2020.Another retailer, Halfords Group Plc, also delivered good news. The auto-supply and cycling company reported sales gains, led by its bike unit, and maintained its outlook on profit for the full year. That relieved investors, given that the chain has issued a profit warning a year ago and rebased its dividend from next year in order to invest in the business. The shares surged as much as 9.3%.To contact the reporter on this story: Deirdre Hipwell in London at dhipwell@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at epfanner1@bloomberg.net, Marthe FourcadeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • AB Foods sales rise, boosted by Primark performance
    MarketWatch

    AB Foods sales rise, boosted by Primark performance

    Primark sales rose 4.5% at constant currency in the period compared with the prior-year period. At actual exchange rates, sales were up 3%.

  • Investing.com

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  • Horrid Holidays Can't All Be Blamed on Brexit
    Bloomberg

    Horrid Holidays Can't All Be Blamed on Brexit

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Christmas 2019 should be consigned to the dustbin along with the crumpled wrapping paper and the wilted tree. That’s the message that has come in loud and clear from British retailers. And it caps off a miserable year. Total sales for 2019 fell by 0.1%, the worst year on record, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.There’s no doubt consumers were cautious in the run-up to the holidays. But store groups can’t blame it all on Brexit. There were some own goals, too.Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc missed the halo effect from Black Friday by reining in promotions right as shoppers sought deals during the U.S-imported retail frenzy. Marks & Spencer Group Plc also hasn’t participated for the past few years. While it’s the right instinct to protect against diluting margins ahead of the holiday season, going too far to do so is painful too.John Lewis Partnership Plc warned that its profit would be “significantly lower” than a year ago, and parted company with the head of its department-store arm, Paula Nickolds. It’s hard not to think the privately held company’s challenges have been made worse by some of its own decisions, such as blindly sticking to its pledge to always be cheaper than rivals. Times have changed since the promise was made many years ago, and it’s become untenable in a market characterized by intense and constant discounting.But perhaps the performance by M&S is the most disappointing. After seeing some positive signs in women’s wear, it made a fashion faux pas in men’s clothing by getting too trendy for many of its customers. Its range of more contemporary, slim fitting shirts and suits weren’t on trend with its predominantly older shopper base, and it simply stocked too many small sizes than was reasonable.The high street stalwart also didn’t have the right Christmas gifts, having gone down market just as consumers were seeking more expensive items, such as cashmere sweaters, and more experiential gifts such as spa days. Consequently, M&S’s like-for-like sales in clothing and home furnishings fell 1.7% in the third quarter, worse than the consensus of analysts’ expectations for a 0.8% decline.The performance is particularly disappointing given that many of M&S’s key competitors, including Debenhams Plc, John Lewis department stores, Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser and Philip Green’s Arcadia, are not firing on all cylinders. And the self-inflicted damage wasn’t confined to clothing. Although demand for M&S’s Christmas food was strong, it wasn’t as pronounced as it had hoped. It misread the market, buying too much festive fare to make sure it had enough available and wound up with far too many leftovers once the holidays came to an end. Consequently, gross margins are expected to be at the lower end of expectations.The shares fell as much as 11.6%. It isn’t the first time M&S has messed up at Christmas. In the past, it suffered from problems at a key distribution center at Castle Donington in central England. This year that facility held up, but the new round of blunders is worrying. In contrast, other groups that have been operating quietly without hiccups, such as Tesco Plc, Greggs Plc and discount home-furnishings retailer Dunelm Group Plc, delivered solid performances. It will also be worth watching out for Associated British Foods Plc, which should have benefited from Primark’s strong selection of gifts and party dresses in the run up to the holiday.With any Boris bounce after the U.K. election proving elusive, 2020 is set to remain tough. The lesson from this Christmas trading season is that to prosper, retailers need to stick to their knitting, and ensure that their own actions don’t make an already difficult backdrop even worse.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Macy's Still Has a Lot of Work to Do
    Bloomberg

    Macy's Still Has a Lot of Work to Do

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Give Macy’s Inc. a polite clap, and no more, for kicking off the retail holiday reporting season in reasonable style.The department store giant said Wednesday that like-for-like sales from company-owned stores fell 0.7% in November and December, compared with the year earlier period. That’s by no means stellar, but it was much better than its dismal third quarter, when same-store sales sank 3.9% and the company cut its profit forecast, leaving some investors to wonder whether its slew of turnaround efforts would ever be enough to revive an aging, challenged business.Fortunately for Macy’s, it looks like some of its initiatives — particularly revamping its top-performing stores and ramping up its online selection — did attract shoppers over the crucial holiday shopping period. The company said its digital business and the 150 stores that it has updated performed well. Investors reacted enthusiastically at first, sending Macy’s shares up as much 5 percent in early trading Wednesday, before tempering their optimism; the stock gave up most of its gains by mid-morning.That more measured response sounds right. True, the holiday performance was an improvement on the dire third quarter. But same-store sales were still negative. Macy’s must get back to increasing comparable sales and sustain this trend for investors to be convinced that its actions are paying off.There is no let up in the pressures facing department stores, which have been struggling to adapt to changing shopping habits while facing increasing competition from rivals that range from e-commerce giant Amazon Inc. to discount players such as TJX Cos., the corporate parent of TJ Maxx. Even Associated British Foods Plc’s Primark is making headway in the U.S.; its cheap chic is a challenge to mainstream clothing retailers and the off-price sector alike. All this comes as the consumer has remained relatively robust. Any retrenchment would make conditions even more difficult.Much will now rest on Macy’s investor day on Feb. 5. My colleague Sarah Halzack has argued that the strategy to be presented should include more store closures, and Macy’s has delivered this early. It said on Wednesday that it would be closing another 28 of its namesake outlets and one Bloomingdale’s. This builds on the 100 shutterings since 2016, and is the right strategy. But it may still not go far enough. At the end of the third quarter, the group had about 680 department stores under the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s brands. That makes the strategic blueprint for reviving same-store sales growth even more crucial.Macy’s shares are down more than 40% over the past year, and trade on a forward price earnings ratio of about 7.5 times, a more than 30% discount to the Bloomberg Intelligence North American department store valuation peer group. To narrow the gap, Macy’s must show that its better-than-feared holiday showing isn’t another false dawn.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • A Note On Associated British Foods plc's (LON:ABF) ROE and Debt To Equity
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  • Boris Bounce Won’t Save Christmas for British Retailers
    Bloomberg

    Boris Bounce Won’t Save Christmas for British Retailers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Brits haven’t felt very much like shopping this year, and understandably so. There’s been political gridlock and upheaval, the repeated threat of a hard Brexit and an election in December for the first time since 1923. No wonder despite strong employment, and wage growth outpacing inflation, U.K. consumers have been acting as if they’re in a recession.As a result, Britain’s army of shoppers have been choosing more classic colors such as black, navy, gray and camel rather than trendy shades at high-street stalwart Marks & Spencer Group Plc. Families have put off buying new fridges and dishwashers until their old appliances broke down. And they’ve turned to discounters Aldi and Lidl when, in spite of it all, they wanted to start preparing for Christmas by filling their shopping carts with panettone and children’s toys. Even with a lift from the Black Friday frenzy, this has all added up to weak non-food sales,  and sluggish demand at the big supermarkets.Against this background, the general election result can only be reassuring: a hard Brexit has likely been shelved and affluent shoppers can breathe a sigh of relief that they won’t face a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. This should all bode well for trading over the coming weeks, the conclusion of the so-called Golden Quarter that captures the run up to the holidays and the merrymaking as well. There is now only one weekend left before Christmas. Last week was likely a slow one in malls and on high streets with the pending election and heavy rain. If the weather is good — cold crisp conditions are best — then shoppers could come out in force for last minute gifts.This upswing may come too late for some store groups. Black Friday sucked spending into November, so that may mean there is less pent-up demand to be released in December. Many consumers bought Christmas gifts when they were on special offer. Unless those deals generated sales that wouldn’t have happened anyway, the mark downs mean margins will have suffered.It’s a different story for supermarkets. Their peak period kicks off around now, and the days immediately before the holiday will be the biggest for food shopping. With Brits feeling slightly less nervous, they may be prepared to buy a nicer bottle of wine, or a pricey free-range turkey — or a vegan Wellington.The recovery in the pound should be helpful too. Retailers selling clothing, toys and electronics buy well over half of the stock they sell from suppliers in Asia, and pay for them in dollars. When sterling weakens, their input costs rise. As stores struggle to pass higher prices  onto consumers, their margins get squeezed. A stronger pound should ease the pressure on profitability.  What’s more, a large amount of capacity is coming out of the market, with the likes of M&S, Debenhams Plc and Philip Green’s Arcadia Group closing stores. Chains that have survived the tumultuous conditions should benefit.But even if shoppers do party like its 1999 — and that’s still debatable — retailers may not escape a New Year hangover.If Prime Minister Boris Johnson forces through his Brexit deal — which now looks increasingly likely — it is only the starting point for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, and negotiations for a comprehensive agreement with its largest trading partner.   There’s also the toll that the uncertainty of the past three years has taken on an already fragile British economy. Businesses may have held back from investing, potentially storing up trouble for the future. And despite overall strong employment, there have been job losses. Consumers make the most drastic changes to their purchasing habits when they are made redundant or see their friends losing their jobs.So even a late surge won’t change the winners and losers this Christmas. Discount players such as Aldi and Lidl and Associated British Foods Plc’s Primark are still likely to be standout performers. Next Plc is doubling down on its strong online presence by selling other retailers’ brands, which should pay off. Bricks and mortar clothing retailers and department stores will be under pressure from both Amazon.com Inc. and specialist-fashion brands such as Boohoo Group Plc. Meanwhile, a revival over the next two weeks may not be enough to compensate for lackluster sales so far at Britain’s big supermarkets.The general election result should make this Christmas a little less dismal. But it won’t transform it from turkey into a cracker.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Associated British Foods plc (LON:ABF)'s Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend
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  • Was Associated British Foods plc's (LON:ABF) Earnings Decline Part Of A Broader Industry Downturn?
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  • Boycott Black Friday and Save the World
    Bloomberg

    Boycott Black Friday and Save the World

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- On London’s Oxford Street last weekend, you could almost forget we were in the midst of a retail apocalypse. Christmas lights and a slew of special offers marking an ever earlier start to the imported bargain frenzy, Black Friday, brought out the crowds. Similar holiday cheer and promotions have spread elsewhere in Europe too.But European retailers face a new worry:  shoppers deliberately staying away in order to safeguard the planet.Conspicuously skipping consumption is a long-term threat. But when it comes to Black Friday, the more shoppers who shun it the better.For European stores, introducing the crazy U.S. holiday shopping tradition has been an act of self-harm. If protests persuade stores to cut back on this margin-destroying activity, both the planet and profitability would benefit.To recap: Black Friday first reared its ugly head in the U.K. around the start of the decade when local chains responded to Amazon.com Inc.’s unleashing of post-Thanksgiving discounts onto the British public. The trend hit continental Europe later, but French and German have retailers have stepped up their participation over the past few years.As the phenomenon grew, so did resistance, with, for example, International Buy Nothing Day urging us to switch off from shopping. But this year the anti-consumerism movement is gaining traction.In France, where retailers are bracing for a Dec. 5 nationwide strike that may last longer, youth activists are joining with Extinction Rebellion to protest at shopping malls and elsewhere on Friday in an action called BlockFriday. Ecology Minister Elisabeth Borne has weighed in, warning people about the pollution generated by Black Friday between all of the extra delivery runs and packaging. “We can’t at the same time call for a reduction in greenhouse gases and call for a consumer frenzy like that,” she said. There’s even a proposal by lawmakers to ban Black Friday promotions altogether.In Lyon, ethical-clothing specialist WeDressFair will for the second year close its store and website on Friday. Instead, customers can bring in their ripped jeans and shirts with missing buttons to be mended. They will also learn now to make more eco-friendly washing powder.These different initiatives underline the increasing focus on shopping’s impact on the environment.The chief executive officer of Hennes & Mauritz AB, which has been seeking to make its clothing more sustainable since the 1990s, recently warned of the threat of consumer shaming. Associated British Foods Plc’s Primark has been struggling in Germany, in part because some consumers there believe because it’s cheap, it’s got to be bad for the environment. To address the growing concerns about fast fashion, the chain has introduced clothing recycling stations in its stores and increased its use of sustainable cotton.ABF CEO George Weston has also argued that it is greener to shop in physical stores than it is to buy online. That’s significant because Black Friday is still primarily a web-based phenomenon. Determining which is greener is not straightforward. There is some academic evidence to suggest that shopping online is actually more sustainable. But that is not always the case. When a whole range of factors are taken into account, including returns, ultra-fast delivery, subscription programs that encourage repeat purchases, collecting parcels by car and showrooming — where customers travel to stores to evaluate products before ordering — the picture is far less clear cut.Whether it’s for environmental or commercial reasons, any break on the event is welcome. Deloitte estimates that the average discount in the U.K. this November is about 27%, similar to last year, although deals started earlier. Retailers may win some incremental sales, but given the difficult market conditions, that’s not guaranteed. So, unless they are offering products that would have gone into the January sale anyway, or items specially made to be sold cheaply on Black Friday, this level of reduction means  they will be sacrificing margin.Some store groups that previously embraced Black Friday have now rowed back, led by Asda, the U.K. arm of Walmart Inc. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc is also getting less involved. Others, such as the electronics chains AO World Plc and Dixons Carphone Plc, plan promotions with suppliers months in advance.This year, the effect of Black Friday will be particularly pernicious. Falling after payday and kicking off the main spending weeks in the run up to the holiday, it will be difficult for retailers that offer discounts to return to full price. Add in Brexit uncertainty in the U.K. and the upcoming strikes in France, and it increases the potential for a highly promotional period.More conscious consumers are too late to prevent Black Friday from taking place in 2019. But if they force retailers to come to their senses in future, it won’t just be the environment that wins.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of ABF.L earnings conference call or presentation 5-Nov-19 9:00am GMT

    Full Year 2019 Associated British Foods PLC Earnings Call

  • European stocks trade near four-year highs
    MarketWatch

    European stocks trade near four-year highs

    European stocks traded near four-year highs on Tuesday, with market attention still focused on the prospect of a U.S.-China trade deal.

  • Primark owner AB Foods posts profit drop
    MarketWatch

    Primark owner AB Foods posts profit drop

    Retail adjusted operating profit was GBP913 million, up from GBP834 million in fiscal 2018, with Primark sales up 4.2% ahead of last year at actual exchange rates

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  • Eyes on U.S. prize, Primark considers Central American suppliers
    Reuters

    Eyes on U.S. prize, Primark considers Central American suppliers

    Confident it can crack the $300 billion U.S. clothing and shoes market where many other foreign retailers have failed, Britain's Primark is ready to raise its bet on the country by securing new sources of fast fashion in central America. Primark, whose trendy clothes at rock-bottom prices have taken UK shoppers by storm, opened in Boston in 2015 and now has nine stores in the northeast, all served by a warehouse in Pennsylvania that could still serve three times as many stores. It has invested 250 million pounds ($313 million) in the United States, achieved a critical mass of sales and has a four-year education under its belt on a crowded market that is battling to stay afloat in the face of rapid e-commerce growth.