Clothing retailer to the rescue for ABF

Posted on 11 Sep 2008 by The Manufacturer

Associated British Foods (ABF) said one of the few current successes of the retail sector, it’s clothing chain Primark, has provided compensation for faltering food brands as it (ABF) announced its profits are in line with expectations.

The Oxford Street branch of the budget clothing and accessories store reportedly takes three million pounds a week. By the end of the year the company will have increased Primark’s selling space to 5.4 million square feet and is branching out to Spain.

ABF said profit from its British Sugar business is “substantially lower” than last year but said this was no more than was to be expected owing to the reform of the EU sugar regime and record crop levels in China.

“Expenditure on acquisitions in the year will amount to some £225m primarily comprising 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. Proceeds from the disposal of our former German yeast business and the UK emulsifier business amounted to £54m.”

Net debt will be higher for the firm this year, reflecting its investments, it said.