British Sugar has invested in its factories despite predictions the sugar market will remain weak over 2014

British Sugar has invested in its factories despite predictions the sugar market will remain weak over 2014

Associated British Foods' British Sugar confirmed it is to spend GBP50m (US$83m) on its manufacturing sites.

In a statement to just-food, a spokesperson for the firm said: "I can confirm that we are investing close to GBP50m in the current year in our four operating sites and anticipate further on-going investments over the next few years."

The investments are focused on "maintaining and improving the reliability and efficiency of our sites," the spokesperson added.

No one at the firm was available to comment on the size of future investment when approached by just-food.

In a trading statement for the first half of its financial year, ABF noted EU sugar prices falling had created a greater strain on its sugar unit. It predicted sales and profits from its sugar business for the period to 1 March would be "substantially lower than last year".

City analysts Bernstein predicted ABF's sales in sugar would fall by 20%. Panmure Gordon, also highlighting continued weaknesses in the sugar market, cut its 2015 EPS forecast in the firm by 2.3% from 111.6p to 109.0p.

Shares in Associated British Foods dipped 1.61% to 2,928 per share today (3 March) at GMT15.43.