Associated British Foods has reported flat first-half earnings, reflecting a fall in sugar revenue and profit that was offset by growth in all its other businesses.
The group, which owns the Primark fashion chain, food brands such as Ovaltine, Ryvita and Twinings, and major sugar, agriculture and ingredients businesses, said on Wednesday it made adjusted earnings per share of 61.1 pence in the 24 weeks to March 2 on revenue up 1% to £7.53 billion (€8.6 billion).
Adjusted operating profit was down 1%, to £639 million.
For the full 2018-19 year AB Foods maintained its previous guidance of adjusted EPS in line with the 2017-18 outcome.
The group said it expected sugar profitability to improve.
Commenting on the group’s performance, George Weston, chief executive of AB Foods described the group’s performance as “robust”.
“Profit at AB Sugar was substantially reduced but, from this period, we expect our sugar profitability to improve. The strong underlying growth in Grocery profits demonstrates good momentum. Primark delivered excellent profit growth, driven by further development of our customer experience and selling space expansion.”