Primark owner AB Foods says strong trading continues

LONDON Fri Dec 7, 2012 6:26am EST

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LONDON Dec 7 (Reuters) - Associated British Foods said strong trading at its discount clothing business Primark had continued over the last two months.

In a statement ahead of the company's annual general meeting on Friday, chairman Charles Sinclair said he continued to expect that growth at Primark and AB's grocery division, which includes brands Twinings and Ovaltine, would offset lower profits at its sugar production business.

"We expect the group to make some further progress in this new financial year but, in contrast to last year, this will be weighted towards the first half," he said.

Last month, the company reported a 17 percent rise in full-year profit for the year to mid-Sept, as cash-strapped consumers across Europe flocked to Primark's cheap clothing stores.