8 November 1996

Brit Sugar profits slip

BRITISH Sugar has suffered a slight fall in operating profits in the year to Sep 14, according to results published by parent company, Associated British Foods this week.

"The present strength of sterling has reversed the benefits accruing from changes in the green £ reported at the half-year stage," said executive chairman Garry Weston. "The current years result has also been marginally affected by the costs associated with changes in its operating structure."

These costs mainly resulted from the twinning of beet factories at Kidderminster and Allscott in the West Midlands. Last year, operating profits came to £184m.

ABFs animal feed operations, which include J Bibby, KW Agriculture and Trident Feeds, were able to shrug off the BSE crisis, however, recording increased earnings for the year.

Overall, ABF achieved 17% sales growth to £5.7bn, with a 15% rise in pre-tax profits to £430m.n