Why Associated British Foods Is Up 25% This Year

Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF.L  ) has advanced 25% to 1,392 pence so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's best performers in the FTSE 100.

ABF -- an international food, ingredients, and retail group behind such diverse brands as Pataks, Twinings, and Primark -- seems to have impressed investors with a series of upbeat statements.

During April, an interim results announcement for 2012 stated that ABF's group revenue was up 11% to 5,766 million pounds, while adjusted operating profit increased by 6% to 412 million pounds. The dividend had increased 8% to 8.5 pence per share, with earnings per share rising 5% to 34.4 pence.

During July, the company issued its third-quarter management statement, which revealed that group revenue was 11% ahead of the same period in 2011, with the AB Sugar operation turning in a 28% increase. The statement also said that Primark's sales had grown 16%, driven partly by an increase in retail space.

Then, earlier this month, ABF published its annual results for 2012. The company reported that total group revenue for the year had grown 11% to 12.3 billion pounds, with adjusted pre-tax profit up 17% to 974 million pounds. Adjusted EPS had increased 18% to 87.2 pence, and there had been a 15% rise in the dividend, which stood at 28.5 pence per share for the full year.

Chief executive George Weston commented: "These are very good results for the group and include exceptional performances from AB Sugar and Primark. Global economic uncertainty remains but we have opportunities for further investment and the strength of the group balance sheet and a strong cash flow will enable us to pursue them with confidence."

Associated British Foods' next trading statement may reveal further positive news to impress investors.

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Jon does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.


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