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19 April, 2017 - 10:52 By Tony Quested

ABF share price rockets on stellar interims

ABF Weston

The UK share price of Associated British Foods plc soared 99p to 2,817 (up almost four per cent) as the company posted a stunning set of interims.

The business has operations across the East of England and is one of the cluster’s glittering A-list companies. AVEVA also reported upbeat trading today.

ABF revenue was up 19 per cent to £7.296 billion as the company reported “excellent progress on all fronts.” Its market cap also shot northwards to hit £22.3bn.

Statutory operating profit was up 36 per cent to £640 million and with the benefit of a profit on the sale of businesses, profit before tax increased 92 per cent to £867m and basic earnings per share rose 79 per cent to 80.5p.

A buoyant board hoisted the dividend per share by 10 per cent to 11.35p and reported net cash of £190m.

Chief executive George Weston (above) said: “The underlying growth of the group at constant currency was strong in the first half. Primark delivered a substantial increase in selling space which, together with its strong consumer offering, contributed to a further increase in our share of the total clothing market. 

“Furthermore, we achieved a more acceptable rate of return in sugar and further good progress was made by our ingredients and grocery businesses.”

Peterborough based ABF company British Sugar is in the Business Weekly Awards Hall of Fame as a former Business of the Year. 

Another former Business of the Year – Cambridge software group AVEVA – also issued some bullish trading news today in an update to the markets on progress in the year to March 31.

Helped by positive currency translation effects, the performance shows a return to growth in both revenue and profit. The board anticipates that the results will be broadly in line with market expectations and that cash generation will be ahead of forecasts with the group closing the year with cash of around £130 million.

Kiss Communications

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