LONDON — Europe’s stock markets were largely in positive territory Tuesday morning.
The DAX in Frankfurt gained 1.3 percent to 12,040.05, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, up 0.5 percent to 5,215.37 and the FTSE 100 in London, which rose 0.3 percent to 7,074.09. The FTSE MIB in Milan was flat at 23,335.97.
Fashion, luxury and retail stocks had a varied start.
Risers numbered Salvatore Ferragamo, 3.7 percent to 30.33 euros; Tod’s, 2.2 percent to 85.30 euros; Mysale Group, 2.3 percent to 0.57 pounds; and Boohoo.com, 1.4 percent to 0.29 pounds.
Fallers included Bonmarché Holdings, 1.1 percent to 2.62 pounds; French Connection, 1.4 percent to 0.53 pounds; and Mulberry, 1.7 percent to 9.00.
Associated British Foods, the parent company of fast-fashion retailer Primark, dipped 2.5 percent to 27.91 pounds after reporting that its operating profit fell 5 percent at actual exchange rates to 474 million pounds, or $739 million, in the 24 weeks to Feb. 28, while its pre-tax profit dipped 50.9 percent to 213 million pounds, or $332 million, partly a result of exceptional charges related to its sugar and biofuel business. Group revenues gained 1 percent over the half at actual exchange rates to 6.25 billion pounds, or $9.75 billion.
Dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period.
ABF’s chief executive George Weston said that the firm’s AB Sugar division had weighed on profitability, as EU sugar prices had fallen.
But Weston said the firm had made “significant progress” in operating profit for its Primark business, with operating profit for the clothing label up 8 percent at actual exchange rates to 322 million pounds, or $502 million, during the period, and revenues up 12 percent at actual exchange rates to 2.55 billion, or $3.98 billion.
Weston said the firm is building its management team in the U.S., ahead of Primark’s planned launch there in late 2015, having signed eight store leases in the north east of the country and a lease for a warehouse space in Pennsylvania.
At 11:25 a.m. CET, the pound traded for $1.54, while the euro went for $1.12.