Resurgence of retailer share prices headed by ASOS and Associated British Foods

Some retailers are showing signs of recovery on the FTSE today, most notably in the clothing market with share prices in online retailer ASOS (LON:ASC) and Primark’s owner Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) hitting 52-week highs today.

Rob Hull - Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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Primark reportedly increased six month profits by 18 per cent

Both the fashion-focussed internet retailer and the high-street budget-friendly store posted positive revenue updates today, sky-rocketing share prices to the highest they’ve been in the year to date for both ASOS and ABF stocks.

Associated British Foods shares climbed to a 12-month high of 1020p and 6.4 per cent up this afternoon.

And as trading drew to a close, share prices were 5.79 per cent up to 1014.00p at 16:30BST, putting ABF top of the FTSE 100 high risers today.

The group’s clothing retailer, Primark, increased profits by 18 per cent to £144m in the last six months and revenue rose 19 per cent to £1.26 billion with like-for-like sales.

That pushed ABF as a group 20 per cent up to £331 million in profit for the six months ending 27 February.

George Weston, Chief Executive for ABL, said: “The investments made in recent years are now delivering very satisfying results throughout the group”.

ASOS also announced an increase in sales, in their case of 35 per cent, out-performing the current market.

In a trading update for the year ending 31 March, ASOS said UK sales had risen by 23 per cent and more notably international sales had increased by 101 per cent.

This news sent ASOS share prices up by as much as seven per cent today to a price of 559.50p.

Chief Executive, Nick Robertson, said: “ The year was characterised by more conservative planning, specifically around stock levels, a focus on operational and financial controls and the introduction of key customer initiatives such as free returns.

“Simultaneously we have been developing our International business and remain on track to launch our US, French and German websites this year. “

He also cited the fact that the internet continues to outperform the other retail channels as a main reason for a competitive outlook on the next twelve months.

Burberry Group (LON:BRBY) also announced a six per cent rise in total sales today pushing their share prices as high as 1.7 per cent up.

And Tesco (LON:TSCO) reported a net income for the full year of £2.33 billion today which didn’t create enough excitement to push share prices any higher.


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