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UK-based food processing and retailing company Associated British Foods (ABF) reported consolidated revenues of £9.56bn in the first half (H1) of 2023.

Compared to revenues of £7.88bn for the same period in 2022, the company has recorded an increase of 21% at actual exchange and 17% at constant currency rates in H1 of the fiscal year 2023.

For the reported period, which ended on 4 March 2023, ABF’s adjusted earnings per share stood at 62.0p, reflecting a 3% decrease from that of H1 2022.

The company’s adjusted operating profit in the period also witnessed a 3% decline at actual exchange and 7% at constant currency rates to £684m.

Statutory operating profit also declined by 3% to £663m in H1 of 2023.

ABF said that the lower group margins can be attributed to delays in recovering inflation in terms of Food businesses and to careful pricing decisions at Primark.

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By GlobalData

ABF chief executive George Weston said: “This period was marked by extreme and volatile inflation in all our businesses. We have taken considerable action to mitigate these costs through operational cost savings and where appropriate, pricing.

“The performance of our Food businesses was resilient in aggregate, underpinned by an exceptional performance at Ingredients.”

ABF said that its fast fashion retailer Primark registered better footfall and margin than expected, along with higher sales, due to its pricing and an increase in unit volumes.

Primark’s sales increased by 19% to £4.22bn in H1 2023, which is 10% higher than the previous year’s like-for-like sales.

Recovering from the strong second half of 2022 further resulted in driving 8.3% growth in profit margins.

Weston added: “Primark has been very successful in this period in attracting new customers with its proposition of good quality merchandise combined with price leadership and well-invested stores.

“We have had a very strong contribution from new stores opened in the period, and today we are announcing plans for the development of our Primark business in southern states of the US.”