Associated British Foods reports “strong” H2

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 14th September 2010

Associated British Foods said yesterday (13 September) that it had seen a “substantial increase” in adjusted operating profit in the second half of its fiscal year after a “strong” trading period.

The UK-based commodities and grocery group, which owns Australian companies George Weston Foods and Don KR Castlemaine, as well as international brands Twinings, Ryvita, Ovaltine and Pataks, said it expects earnings for the full year to show “very good progress”.

ABF, which runs British Sugar, said it profits from its sugar business are set to be “substantially higher” than last year thanks to growth in the EU and “strong improvement in China”.

The company said adjusted operating profit from its grocery business will be “well ahead of last year” on the back of recovery in its US bottled oils business, and the benefits of restructuring work undertaken last year, which will be partially offset by the cost of the manufacturing reorganisation at Twinings.

ABF’s Allied Bakeries division saw “considerable success” with its Little Big Loaf, which was launched last autumn, while its Silver Spoon brand benefited from increased demand for home baking ingredients and has seen improvement in operating margins following a packaging plant rationalisation completed last year.

However, shares in ABF, which will announce its full results on 9 November, were down 2.8% at 1058p at 13:11 BST.

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