Following swiftly on the posting of Associated British Foods(ABF) largely stable full year results, CEO Peter Jackson has revealed the group’s plan to embark on an aggressive expansion, with the intention of becoming a dominant global player in the food ingredients sector.

Analysts admitted that the results were “not terribly amazing.” Restructuring costs of £130m caused a dent in the £4.41bn sales (up 2% from 1999), and pre-tax profit fell by £52m to £273m. Jackson revealed, however, that the group had made £140m since the beginning of 2000 and “we don’t want the cash to just sit there.”

Jackson explained: “We’ve got some bloody good businesses [and] we do want to change the growth footprint of the company. It’s not going to be difficult to spend [the money]. It’s irrelevant whether these companies have their head offices in Paris or the US; we want to have a strong international presence.”