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By
Reuters
Published
Dec 4, 2009
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AB Foods says trading encouraging, above expectations

By
Reuters
Published
Dec 4, 2009

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Associated British Foods Plc (ABF.L), the Primark fashion stores owner and Silver Spoon sugar refiner, on Friday 4 December said trading in the first two months of its financial year was encouraging and ahead of its expectations.


Photo: www.primark.co.uk

The London-based foods and retail group, 55 percent owned by the family of its chief executive, George Weston, added it expected good revenue and profit growth for its current financial year which start on Sept. 13.

"Trading results for the first two months of the new financial year were encouraging and ahead of our expectations, but there remains uncertainty over the pace of economic recovery and we see 2010 may be difficult for the UK consumer," Chairman Charles Sinclair told the group's annual general meeting.

The group which markets Twining tea, Ovaltine drinks and Kingsmill bread was giving its routine trading update at its annual meeting.

"We expect good revenue and operating profit growth over the next year with the benefit of returns from our recent long-term investments and restructuring together with improvement in our Chinese and U.S. businesses," he added.

Sinclair said net financing costs will be higher but the group is confident of progress in earnings for the full year.

AB Foods shares were up 0.8 percent at 808 pence by 1120 GMT, compared to a FTSE 100 index .FTSE down 0.6 percent. (Reporting by David Jones) (([email protected]; +44 20 7542 7972; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

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