April 19, 2017 / 6:15 AM / 4 months ago

AB Foods profit jump driven by sugar rebound, lifts outlook

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Associated British Foods on Wednesday reported a 36 percent rise in first-half profit, driven by a recovery at its sugar business and a resilient performance at Primark, its discount fashion retailer.

The group, which also has ingredients and grocery businesses, raised its profit guidance for the full year.

For the six months to March 4 AB Foods made an adjusted operating profit of 652 million pounds ($835.9 million).

That compares with analysts' average forecast of 623 million pounds, according to Reuters data, and 486 million pounds in the previous corresponding period.

"Our outlook for the group’s full year results has improved and we now expect to report good growth in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share," the group said.

AB Foods made adjusted operating profit of 1.12 billion pounds in 2015-16, with adjusted earnings per share of 106.2 pence. ($1 = 0.7800 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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