20 April 1999
ABF to return £448m to shareholders

ASSOCIATED British Foods (ABF) has proposed to return £448 million to shareholders through a special dividend.

The move is seen as a radical change of policy for the group, whose activities embrace Kingsmill bread, Silver Spoon sugar and Twinings tea.

The group has accumulated £1.5 billion in anticipation of business acquisitions, but feels the prices of larger listed food companies are too high to return more money.

ABF announced a pre-tax profit for the first half of £109m after a £74m charge following the adoption of a new accountancy standard.