Primark owner AB Foods to take results spotlight on Wednesday

Primark’s performance is an all-important indicator for the FTSE 100 firm, especially with its sugar division continuing to struggle amid falling prices in the EU

Primark store
Primark accounts for more than 60% of ABF's business

Associated British Food PLC (LON:ABF) put its investors on edge at the back-end of 2018 when it warned that its seemingly infallible star asset, Primark, had endured a “challenging” November.

Thankfully trading picked up over Christmas and ABF said in February that profits at the no-frills clothes retailer will be “well ahead” of last year when it reports its half-year results on Wednesday.

Given that it accounts for more than 60% of the business, Primark’s performance is all-important, especially with the sugar division continuing to struggle amid falling prices in the EU.

The largest Primark in the world, complete with hair salon and café, opened in Birmingham at the beginning of April, so investors and analysts will be keen to see how that is getting on.

Away from gloom-defying Primark, ABF’s grocery and ingredients division, which includes the Twinings and Ryvita brands, should also show top- and bottom-line growth.

Croda International eyed for continued cash flow

FTSE 100 chemicals firm Croda International PLC (LON:CRDA) will be hoping to keep investors sweet with a trading update on Wednesday, although there may be a difficult bar to clear after the company unveiled a £150mln special dividend at its full year results in February, taking its total for last year to £270mln.

As the windfall was down to increased cash flow following the completion of a new manufacturing plant in North America, investors will likely be eyeing any signs that this trend could continue to deliver healthy payouts.

There may also be more news on Brenntag Biosector, a vaccine adjuvant maker that Croda acquired for €72mln in December as part of a move into the pharmaceuticals sector.

No tears expected from Boohoo investors

Online fashion retailer Boohoo Group  PLC (LON:BOO) will reports its full-year results on Wednesday and investors will be hoping it can continue the more positive trend seen from AIM-listed peer ASOS plc (LON:ASC) in a recent update.

Before Christmas last year, Boohoo shares wobbled after ASOS issued a shock profit warning, however, a trading update from Boohoo in January was very reassuring and showed a 43% rise in revenue in the final four months of 2018.

On Wednesday, the market will be focusing on how Boohoo.com’s US trading is going, having been strong so far this year, with PrettyLittleThing the best performing brand.
Any update on the group’s plans to expand its key Burnley warehouse will also be of interest.

Significant announcements expected for Wednesday April 24:

Trading updates: Croda International PLC (LON:CRDA), CRH PLC (LON:CRH)

Interims: Associated British Foods plc (LON:ABF), AB Dynamics PLC (LON:ABDP)

Finals: Boohoo.com PLC (LON:BOO), Maxcyte PLC (LON:MXCT), Mi-Pay Group PLC (LON:MPAY), Petropavlovsk PLC (LON:POG), PureTech Health PLC (LON:PRTC), WANdisco PLC (LON:WAND)

AGMs: Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG)

Economic data: UK trade in goods; UK public sector finances; German IFO business climate index

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