With the realities of Britain’s EU withdrawal beginning to filter through to shoppers’ spending habits, I reckon Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) is in prime position to enjoy soaring revenues in the near term and beyond.
Data released last week from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) may have caused some to doubt forecasts of slumping high street spend in the years ahead — sales in the UK rose 1.4% in February, obliterating analyst expectations of a 0.4% advance.
But broadly speaking, the retail trend remains on a downward slope. Despite last month’s meaty uptick, total sales volumes still fell 1.4% in the three months to February, the biggest quarterly slump for seven years. And it is difficult to see how sales can keep growing as inflationary pressures build in the months ahead.
However, this situation is likely to drive shoppers into the arms of Associated British Foods’ Primark as they squeeze every last penny from their clothing budgets.
And the prospect of exploding sales in the UK isn’t the only reason for investors to be excited, of course. Indeed, Associated British Foods announced in January that new Primark’s stores spanning Britain, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy and the US “traded strongly” during the 16 weeks to January 7.
Consequently the business said that revenues leapt 22% year-on-year, or 11% on a constant currency basis.
City analysts expect the company’s bottom line to keep growing in the years ahead as demand for its fashion offer takes off, and have pencilled-in earnings growth of 12% and 9% in the years to September 2017 and 2018 respectively.
These projections leave Associated British Foods dealing on a slightly-heady forward P/E ratio of 22.1 times. However, I reckon this is still good value given the massive global potential of the Primark brand, not to mention improving conditions for the firm’s food operations.
And I believe Associated British Foods’ upcoming set of interims (scheduled for Wednesday, April 19) could drive the share price higher still.
Likewise, I reckon bolt-and-fastening specilaist Trifast’s (LSE: TRI) next trading update slated for late April could lead to extra buying appetite.
The number crunchers expect Trifast to follow a 17% earnings uptick in the year to March 2017 with more modest rises of 2% in the following two fiscal periods. But I reckon these figures could be in line for significant upgrades, leaving the manufacturer pretty well priced on a prospective P/E ratio of 17.4 times.
Indeed, Trifast advised last month that “given group trading in Q3 and the further FX tailwinds, the board now expects the group’s performance for the full year to be slightly ahead of its previous expectations.”
The company continues to enjoy solid trading conditions in Europe and the US, while it has also seen activity pick up in its other core territory of Asia as demand has bounced back in the latter half of the fiscal year.
And I believe Trifast’s geographic expansion programme, and with it robust relationships with OEMs the world over, should keep delivering ample shareholder returns long into the future.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.