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April 19, 2005

UK: Associated British Food sales, profits rise

Associated British Foods has announced a rise in turnover to £2.628bn (US$5.02bn) in the 24 weeks ended 5 March 2005, compared with £2.38bn in the same period a year earlier.

Associated British Foods has announced a rise in turnover to £2.628bn (US$5.02bn) in the 24 weeks ended 5 March 2005, compared with £2.38bn in the same period a year earlier.

Profit before tax was £252m compared with £219m a year ago.

“The period has seen sizeable changes in the group due, in particular, to the major investments made at the end of the last financial year,” said chairman Martin Adamson. “Growth in sales and operating profit has been boosted by these acquisitions and by organic growth in the existing businesses.”

“The acquisitions of the US herbs and spices and consumer yeast businesses and the Capullo oils business in Mexico accounted for a substantial part of the advance in grocery,” he said. “Further progress by the UK bakery business and improvements at ACH, our US oils business, also contributed to this profit growth.”

“The contribution from primary food and agriculture showed little change from the same period last year,” he said. “Despite a good campaign, the profit at British Sugar UK was adversely impacted by an oversupply of sugar in the EU this year, currency and higher energy costs. However, this was more than offset by the benefit of the introduction of the EU sugar regime in Poland, higher volumes in China and an improvement in animal feeds.”

“In ingredients, the acquisition of the bakers’ yeast and yeast extract businesses greatly increased its scale and geographical coverage. Although yeast pricing weakened in North America and Turkey, this was partially offset by a strong performance from the operations in South America and Eastern Asia.”

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