Associated British Foods has seen a 3% rise in pre-tax profits to £632m in the year to September 13. It has been attributed to the strong performance of its retail business Primark and grocery brands including Silver Spoon, Twinnings and Ovaltine.
The group has reported a 21% rise in revenue to £8.2bn, but adds that it expects there to be little change in profits next year due to additional interest expenses.
Primark, which accounts for nearly a third of group, profit saw annual like-for-like sales rise 4%. It has around 181 stores in Britain, Ireland and Spain. The positive sales result has come despite a tough economic climate on the high street.
In the grocery division, profits rose 25% as the group expanded the distribution of brands such as Twinings tea and Ovaltine into Russia, Japan and Brazil.
The company says: “By virtue of the nature, range and market position of the group’s businesses we are well placed to face this demanding environment.”