British Sugar profits drop

By FW Staff

BRITISH Sugar profits fell by over 15% in the year to 12 September, according to this weeks preliminary results from parent Associated British Foods.

Despite an excellent beet harvest and benefits of past capital investment, the company was unable to make up for a stronger Green Pound and full provision for the recently announced £28 million European Commission fine, said chairman Garry Weston.

Profit fell £28m to £151m. However, BS is to appeal against the ruling, Mr Weston added.

The milling and baking division was adversely affected by the poor 1997 harvest and surplus capacity.

The animal feed division, which includes J Bibby, KW Agriculture and Trident Feeds, suffered from the continuing after effects of the BSE crisis and financial pressure on farmers.

Overall, strong performance in non-agricultural sectors limited the damage, helping ABF produce a pre-tax profit of £391m, down £35m on the year.

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