Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: British Sugar and Silver Spoon owner ABF issues warning over fall in world prices

09:00 16 January 2014

The British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds.

The British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds.

Silver Spoon owner Associated British Foods (ABF) today reported a “weaker than expected” performance within its sugar division, but said the current beet campaign in the UK was progressing to plan.

shares

ABF said sugar revenues during its opening quarter, covering the 16 weeks to January 4, were 27% below the corresponding period a year ago, adjusted for currenncy movements,

Besides lower prices within the European Union, which the group had already warned would lead to lower revenues and margins for both its British Sugar business in the UK and its operations in Spain, recent falls in world prices may put further pressure on revenues and margins elsewhere, particularly in China.

Sales volumes in Africa and China were both lower then last year and reduced sugar production in Spain had led to the elimination of non-quota exports this year.

“The UK campaign is progressing to plan. Beet quality and sugar content are encouraging and all factories are operating well.” ABF said. “Sugar production for the current year is now estimated to be 1.28m tonnes compared with last year’s 1.15m tonnes.”

However, it added: “Lower sugar prices, as the market rapidly adjusts ahead of EU regime reform in 2017, will result, as previously indicated, in a substantial reduction in profit from our sugar businesses this year. With the further recent fall in world sugar prices this reduction will now be greater than previously expected.”

Revenues with the group’s agriculture division were flast compared with last year, with lower UK feed volumes offset by growth in China, South America and Asia.

Revenues within the group’s grocery division, which includes brands such as Silver Spoon, Twinings and Ovaltine, were 1% down in total but 2% ahead of last year when adjusted for currency movements,

ABF said sales at Silver Spoon had declined as a result of lost contracts and reduced UK sugar pricing but the profit impact has been partially mitigated by overhead cost reduction.

The pattern was similar in the ingredients division, with revenue 2% lower at actual rates but 3% ahead of last year on a constant currency basis.

However, ABF’s star performance was again its Primark discount clothing chain, where sales were 12% ahead at constant currency rates and 14% up in total.

The group the growth was driven by an 8% increase in selling space, strong like-for-like growth and higher sales densities from new stores.

“Although like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks were held back by the unseasonably warm weather and the strong comparatives in the previous year, the second half of the period was characterised by excellent Christmas trading with very strong like-for-like growth,” it said.

Overall, ABF said group revenue for the first quarter were 1% on a constant currency basis and flat compared with last year at actual rates, and the group said its profits expectations for the full year remained unchanged.

Related articles

shares

0 comments

The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, presents the Queen's Award for Enterprise to Seafast.

Specialist logistics company Seafast was yesterday presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Ipswich Station hanging baskets Shows (L-R) Jackie Rathbone, Abellio Area Ticket Office Manager; Kris Collins, Thompson & Morgan Comms Officer;  Ric Staines ActivGardens Lead Horticulturist and Trainer,

Stunning floral displays are welcoming passengers at Ipswich, Stowmarket and Diss rail stations this summer thanks to a partnership between local charity ActivLives and train operator Abellio Greater Anglia, with help from Ipswich’s own horticultural company Thompson & Morgan.

Carolyn Fairbairn, who is to become director general of the CBI.

A former member of the Number 10 Policy Unit is to become director general of the CBI.

Spending on drinking and eating out remained robut during May, according to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker report.

Most Britons are planning to holiday in the UK rather than overseas as they continue to monitor their spending carefully, according to a new survey.

Bury St Edmunds coffee company Frank and Earnest is among more than 100 start-up firms to have received support under Menta's Enterprise Engagement Programme.

Bury St Edmunds-based enterprise agency Menta has completed a project to support start-ups during their first year in business.

Lieutenant Aaron Lewis from Rochford, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 and in whose memory the Aaron Lewis Foundation has been established to support llocal and military charities through sporting and social endeavours.

The regional arm of David Wilson Homes has raised £17,000 at a golf day, held at Stoke by Nayland, for a charity set up in memory of a soldier.

The Vivo 80 model for which Sudbury-based Specflue won an award at the Home and Hearth Exhibition Awards.

Sudbury-based chimney and flue supplier Specflue has received an award for excellence in the design, innovation and quality of its products.

Shoppers in Bury St Edmunds

More and more people are visiting Bury St Edmunds, a new survey has revealed, placing the town above others of a similar size.

New Anglia LEP chairman Mark Pendlington.

A taskforce is to be established to support businesses and employees in Suffolk and Norfolk who are being affected by the downturn in the oil and gas sector.

Tesco is holding its annual general meeting today.

Tesco today reported “another step in the right direction” despite UK like-for-like sales falling by 1.3% in the first quarter of its new financial year.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages