ABF Sees Q1 Earings Up

Associated British Foods report a 17% increase in revenue during Q1, helped by the weakness of the pound, particularly against the euro and the Australian dollar, which it says contributed to this increase.

Profits were boosted by sugar revenues (excluding results for Azucarera which was only acquired in April 2009), 23% ahead of last year. Including Azucarera revenues were ahead by 68%, they report.

ABF say that "The (sugar) UK business is having an excellent campaign with high beet yield per hectare and high sugar content in the beet giving rise to an estimated sugar production of some 1.3m tonnes. Profit benefited from higher volumes, better factory efficiencies and lower energy costs together with a strengthening of the euro."

"In Agriculture, UK feed revenues were ahead in all sectors except sugar beet feed which was affected by lower prices. Growth in speciality feeds exceeded expectations, enzyme sales were encouraging and a new feed mill was commissioned in China. Grain trading activity at Frontier was behind last year’s exceptional level, with less volatility in the market," they add.

Primark chipped in with first quarter sales 19% ahead of last year.