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AB Foods rings out the old year with an unseasonal update, warning of bigger lockdown impacts


Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF) rung out the old year with an unseasonal update after the market close on New Year’s Eve, warning of bigger lockdown impacts.

The FTSE 100-listed food producer and clothing retail conglomerate said it was issuing the brief statement in the light of Wednesday’s announcements by the UK and Republic of Ireland governments regarding increased restrictions on the movement of people and trading activity to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

READ: AB Foods says Primark will increase profits despite bigger lockdown losses

The group noted that, as of January 1, 2021, 253 of its Primark clothing retail stores will be temporarily closed, representing 64% of its total retail selling space, with the announced periods of closure varying by market.

AB Foods said: “Our estimated loss of sales for these stores for the announced periods of closure in our financial year is now some GBP650mln, up from GBP430mln announced on December 4, 2020.”

The company added that it will provide an update on trading for both Primark and its other businesses on January 41, 2021 as scheduled.

In its December 4, 2020, statement, AB Foods had said that it still expects to make more sales and profits from clothing chain Primark this year than last, even though the estimated losses from the autumn’s coronavirus lockdowns had increased to GBP430mln.

Trading across the grocery, sugar, ingredients and agriculture divisions in the first 10 weeks of the FTSE 100 conglomerate’s financial year has also been ahead of both last year and market expectations, chairman Michael McLintock said in a statement ahead of the group’s annual shareholder meeting.

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