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Chairman’s Address to AGM


9 December 2011

At the Annual General Meeting today (9 December 2011) Mr Charles Sinclair, Chairman of Associated British Foods, in addressing shareholders made the following comments on current trading for the group since the close of the financial year ended 17 September 2011:

“Trading results for the first two months of the new financial year were in line with our expectations.  In the conclusion to my statement in the annual report I commented that the outlook for economic growth in developed economies around the world was subdued and we believed it would remain so in the medium term.  This continues to be the case and we expect pressure on consumer disposable incomes to be maintained.  However, commodity costs are subsiding although the effect of forward purchasing means that the benefit to the group will not be felt immediately and, in the case of Primark, not until the beginning of the new calendar year.  Improved sugar pricing is expected to benefit AB Sugar in the coming year and we have made a good start to production campaigns in the northern hemisphere.  The group is also expected to benefit from the returns on recently completed capital investments. As a result we expect growth in sales and adjusted operating profit in the coming year, with the profit improvement weighted towards the second half.”

For further enquiries please contact:

Associated British Foods
John Bason, Finance Director                          Tel: 020 7399 6500

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Chris Barrie, Nicola Swift, Jonathan Clare         Tel: 020 7638 9571