The owner of British Sugar, Associated British Foods, has reported a 20% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to £331m.
Interim results to the end of February revealed that profit from its sugar businesses was 39% above last year at £85m. There was a very strong performance from the UK, which benefitted from market stability following completion of EU sugar regime changes, plus there was also a recovery of domestic sugar prices in China.
ABF said the UK had an excellent 2009/10 beet campaign, with sugar production totalling 1.3m tonnes, some 9% ahead of last year.
Adjusted first-half operating profit of £12m from its agriculture division was lower than last year’s exceptionally high £18m due to less volatility in UK grain markets which led to lower profit from trading activities in Frontier.