Associated British Foods PLC (LSE: ABF) expects interim results to show a strong increase in revenue with growth achieved in all segments, with operating profit substantially higher than in the corresponding period last year in all segments except Agriculture, where trading last year benefited from unusually high volatility in commodity prices.
In a pre-close trading update ahead of reporting interim results for the period to February 27 2010, the company said adjusted operating profit for the group for the half year will be well ahead of last year with growth forecast to continue in the second half.
“Adjusted earnings will show a substantial increase at the half year and we remain confident of very good progress in earnings for the full year,” it said.
The income statement will include a profit on disposal and closure of businesses of some £24 million which is excluded from adjusted earnings per share, arising principally from the sale of the Polish sugar business.
Net debt for the group at the half year is expected to be close to the £1.14 billion at the same time last year.
Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company