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An extra 9 million pounds sterling through ABF checkouts.

ONE of the bright spots for Associated British Foods in the 24 weeks to March 5 was the retail business, which includes the Irish grocery chains, Stewarts, Crazy Prices and Quinnsworth.

Although profit in retailing rose by 9 million[pounds] to 22 million[pounds], margins have not recovered to earlier levels, says group chairman Garry Weston. "Our companies have, however, achieved profit growth through impressive sales gains and their continuous and outstanding performance in controlling and lowering levels of cost throughout their operations."

Total ABF pre-tax profit was up from 176 million[pounds] to 181 million[pounds] on sales of 2.06 billion[pounds] (2.04 billion[pounds]).

Another company to perform well was Twinings, due to improved export business.

Food manufacturing, however, was under heavy competitive pressure, although cost-savings were achieved. British Bakeries continued to suffer from price discounting, "although these effects were in part mitigated by our company's achievements during the period in implementing further cost reductions. "

Profit from the investment in Berisford International almost doubled to 29 million[pounds]. This was due to the rise in share price and profit on the sale of some of the rights following the recent rights issue. Capital expenditure was up by 18 million[pounds] to 90 million[pounds].

ABF has announced the purchase of Bibby's agricultural interests and it is still in the process of selling its Bakers Oven shops to Greggs, based in

Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
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Title Annotation:Associated British Foods retail outlets perform well
Publication:Grocer
Date:Apr 30, 1994
Words:235
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