Associated British Foods posted a 6% rise in full year earnings, with strong performances from the group's Primark discount fashion chain and grocery division offseting the adverse impact of lower sugar prices. 

Primark trades as Penney's in Ireland.

The group said today that adjusted earnings per share were 104.1 pence in the year to September 13, up from 98.9 pence the same time last year. 

AB Foods had said in September that full year earnings would be ahead of the previous year. 

Group revenue fell 3% to £12.9 billion while adjusted profit before tax increased 2% to £1.11 billion. The dividend rose 6% to 34 pence. 

The group reiterated that it expected a further large reduction in sugar profit in the 2014-15 year.

Discount fashion chain Primark grew its profits by another 29% after a "magnificent" year in which its sales jumped to almost £5 billion.

The annual profits haul of £662m comes a day before struggling rival Marks & Spencer is expected to report lower half-year profits.
              

Primark's sales rose 16% to £4.95 billion after it opened new stores across Europe and lifted sales at stores open for more than a year by 4%. 

It has built an estate of 278 stores and has more than 10 million sq ft of space in locations across Europe. The chain is also rolling out plans to open stores in the north-east of the US.
              
George Weston, chief executive of Primark owner Associated British Foods, said that Primark's sales and profits had risen over 10% in the first six weeks of its 2014-15 financial year, which started on September 14.

"I'm really not concerned by the weather and we haven't had to delay or cancel any orders," he said. 

Last week both Next and SuperGroup warned of slowing sales, with unseasonably warm temperatures putting people off buying winter coats, knitwear and boots.