Associated British Foods announces results amid currency and commodity challenges

Associated British Foods, owners of British Sugar and the clothing chain Primark have announced their results for the 52 weeks to 12 September, describing it as a “a strong performance despite currency and commodity challenges”.

Group revenue was down 1% at £12.8 billion while adjusted operating profit was down 6% at £1,092 million. “After profits less losses on sale and closure of businesses and exceptional items, operating profit down 12% to £947m, profit before tax down 30%to £717m and basic earnings per share down 30% to 67.3p
George Weston, Chief Executive of Associated British Foods, said: “We delivered a strong operational performance despite the challenges of food commodity deflation and big movements in exchange rates. The group continues to generate strong cash
Flows and to reduce net debt. While marginally down, our earnings per share result underlines the group’s strength.”

“The two major challenges facing the group have been well flagged – food commodity deflation and substantial movements in currency markets,” said Chairman Charles Sinclair. “A key influence on our food businesses has been deflation in many of our major commodities, making growth in revenues difficult to achieve.”

“The most notable examples are the substantial declines in both the EU and world sugar prices. We have also experienced significant movements in exchange rates with a strengthening of sterling and the US dollar, and a weakening of the euro and emerging market currencies.”

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