Primark owner AB Foods forecasts 2017-18 earnings rise

Primark owner AB Foods forecasts 2017-18 earnings rise
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LONDON (Reuters) - Associated British Foods said on Friday it expected a rise in 2017-18 earnings led by its Primark fashion chain.

In a statement issued to coincide with its annual shareholders' meeting, the group forecast "progress" in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share (EPS).

"With Primark margins in line with that of our last financial year, we expect an increase in retail profit," it said.

The group added that "progress" was expected from grocery, agriculture and ingredients.

However, as previously flagged in sugar, higher volumes and lower costs would only partially mitigate the effect of much lower European Union prices.

The company owns major sugar, grocery, agriculture and ingredients businesses.

Last month AB Foods reported adjusted operating profit of 1.36 billion pounds and an adjusted EPS of 127.1 pence for its 2016-17 year.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jason Neely)

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