Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) is one of the FTSE 100's greatest success stories. This sugar-to-retail conglomerate has seen sales surge at its Primark budget clothing chain over the past few years, despite shifting consumer trends. According to data provided by stockbroker Liberum Securities, since 2000 there have only been three periods when Primark's same-store sales have declined, that's extremely impressive when compared to the rest of the retail industry.
A rare slowdown
Unfortunately, today the company announced one of its rare down periods. For the 24 weeks to March, management said in a sales update, that Primark's same-store sales would show a decline of 1% on the same period a year before. For the year to the end of September sales expanded 1% following growth of 2% for the half year to March 2017.
However, management believes that the slowdown is temporary and following the weak spot, growth is expected to return this year. Indeed, the data is already improving with same-store sales for the 16 weeks to March 3 rising, good news considering the sales declines many of Associated British's peers are having to deal with.
Commenting on the sales figures, management declared: "Encouragingly, like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to 3 March 2018 are expected to deliver growth of 1% and Primark achieved record sales in the week before Christmas. Early trading of the new spring/summer range has been encouraging."
Following this update, management still expects the company to hit City targets for the year with analysts expecting earnings per share growth of 9.6% for the full-year, followed by growth of 9.7% for next year. On this basis, the shares trade at a forward P/E of 19.6, which seems pricey, but considering Associated British's history of growth (average earnings growth of 16.6% per annum for the past five years) I believe it's a price worth paying.
The shares also support a dividend yield of 1.7%.
Another FTSE 100 growth stock I'm positive on the outlook for is International Consolidated Airlines(LSE: IAG).
At the end of last week, the group unveiled plans to increase its dominance over the skies in Europe by acquiring new aircraft for its Level low-cost long-haul brand. At present, this brand only has five aircraft but management plans to triple this to 15 by 2020. CEO Willie Walsh also wants to expand into Austria after it lost out on a bid to acquire local airline Niki in January, with former motor racing champion Niki Lauda offering more to buy back the business he founded.
City analysts are cautious about these growth plans, but considering IAG's historic performance, I believe this company will live up to its growth ambitions in the years ahead as it consolidates its position and uses its size to achieve unrivalled economies of scale.
Analysts are expecting the company to earn 96p per share for fiscal 2018, implying that the shares are currently trading at a forward P/E of just 6.2. They also support a dividend yield of 4.3%, which is covered more than three times by earnings per share. This means IAG is not only a growth champion, but it's a top income play as well.
Growth and income?
As well as IAG, I'm also positive on the outlook for this growth champion.
Our experts believe this well-known FTSE 250 growth stock has the potential to grow its market value from £1.3bn to £4bn over the coming years, suggesting a gain of up to 200% might be possible for investors.
If you want to find out more, download this free, no-obligation report and take a look for yourself.
Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Associated British Foods. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.