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Associated British Foods plc results for year ended 13 September 2008


4 November 2008


ABF demonstrates resilience with good results and continuing strong investment

Financial Highlights

  • Group revenue up 21% to £8.2bn
  • Adjusted operating profit up 7% to £664m*
  • Adjusted profit before tax up 3% to £632m**
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 4% to 54.9p**
  • Dividends per share up 4% to 20.25p
  • Net investment in capital expenditure and acquisitions of £710m
  • Net debt of £791m
  • Operating profit level at £554m, profit before tax up 4% to £527m and basic earnings per share down 3% to 45.2p

George Weston, Chief Executive of Associated British Foods, said:

“These good results demonstrate the resilience of the group. Consumer spending in many parts of the world has been under pressure for some months. Despite this, Grocery, Agriculture and Primark all delivered strong sales and profit growth. While faced with a general economic downturn, we remain committed to the group’s expansion and development, most notably in Sugar and Primark.”


before amortisation of non-operating intangibles, profits less losses on the sale of PP&E and exceptional items


before amortisation of non-operating intangibles, profits less losses on the sale of PP&E, profits less losses on the sale and closure of businesses and exceptional items


All figures stated after amortisation of non-operating intangibles, profits less losses on the sale of PP&E, losses on the sale and closure of businesses and exceptional items, are shown on the face of the consolidated income statement.

For further information please contact:

Associated British Foods:

Until 15.00 only

George Weston, Chief Executive
John Bason, Finance Director
Tel: 020 7638 9571

Geoff Lancaster, Head of External Affairs
Mobile: 07860 562 659

Jonathan Clare/Chris Barrie/Hannah Seward, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 020 7638 9571

After 15.00

John Bason, Finance Director
Tel: 020 7399 6500

Notes to Editors


Associated British Foods is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £8.2bn and 96,000 employees in 44 countries. It has significant businesses outside Europe in southern Africa, the Americas, China and Australia.
Our aim is to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for profitable growth. We look to achieve this through a combination of growth of existing businesses, acquisition of complementary new businesses and achievement of high levels of operating efficiency.


The group has strong positions in the markets in which it operates:



The group is the second largest sugar producer in the world. British Sugar is Europe’s most efficient producer and the sole processor of the UK beet sugar crop. It has adapted to the structural changes in world sugar production and has strong positions in southern Africa, China and Poland. Illovo is the largest sugar processor in Africa and one of the world’s leading, low-cost producers.



AB Agri sells animal feeds and micro-ingredients to farmers and purchases grain and oilseeds from them. It has facilities in the UK and China and markets products in 40 countries worldwide.



Primark is a fast-growing, major, value clothing retail group employing over 25,500 people. It now has 181 stores in the UK, Ireland and Spain.



The international hot beverages business comprises Twinings, the world’s leader in speciality teas and infusions, and Ovaltine, the largest producer of malt-based beverages in Europe and Thailand.

The UK’s leading, authentic Indian cuisine brand, Patak’s, has been combined with our pan-oriental foods brand, Blue Dragon, to create a retail ‘world foods’ business. This is complemented by Westmill Foods’ leading presence in the supply of ethnic foods to the UK ethnic wholesale channel.

In the growing ‘better for you’ category, Ryvita and Jordans have developed a strong position in healthy snacking.

Allied Bakeries is a leading UK bread supplier with the well known brands: Kingsmill, Burgen, Allinson and Sunblest.

George Weston Foods is Australia’s second largest grocery company whose wide range of grocery brands includes Tip Top and Noble Rise bakery products and Don, KR Castlemaine and Watsonia smallgoods.

ACH has a strong portfolio of grocery brands in the Americas. Mazola is the leading corn oil in the US and Capullo the leading premium vegetable oil in Mexico. ACH also has strong positions in herbs and spices, sauces, corn syrup, starch and yeast for home baking.



AB Mauri has a global presence in bakers’ yeast, with significant market positions in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and is a technology leader in bakery ingredients. It operates from 43 plants in 28 countries. ABF Ingredients manufactures speciality proteins, enzymes, lipid technologies and polyols.


We continue to invest heavily in the future growth of the group. Net capital expenditure in the year of £545m included £152m on the acquisition and fit out of new stores for Primark and £49m for the purchase of sugar quota in the UK and Poland, negotiated in 2006. Elsewhere, major projects are underway in the expansion of our sugar operations in southern Africa and China, bioethanol production in the UK, yeast and yeast extract production in China and enzyme capacity in Finland. Acquisition spend of £224m related mainly to the Italian and German yeast businesses of Gilde Bakery Ingredients for AB Mauri, beet sugar factories in north east China and KR Castlemaine in Australia.

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