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Associated British Foods HY Pre-tax Profit Down

Associated British Foods plc.(ABF.L) reported that its profit before tax for the 24 weeks ended 29 February 2020 decreased by 42% to 298 million pounds from 515 million pounds in the previous year.

Adjusted profit before tax of 636 million pounds was 1% ahead of last year at actual exchange rates.

The statutory operating profit for the period reduced 35% year-over-year to 349 million pounds as a result of exceptional items of 309 million pounds charged in this half year compared to 79 million pounds in the same period last year.

Profit attributable to equity shareholders dropped to 217 million pounds or 27.5 pence per share from 389 million pounds or 49.2 pence per share in the prior year.

Revenue for the period was 7.6 billion pounds, up 2% from last year at actual exchange rates and 3% ahead at constant currency.

The company said its board has accepted the proposal by the executive directors to reduce their base pay temporarily by 50% and that no bonuses relating to the current financial year will be paid to them.

In addition, the non-executive directors of the board, including chairman, have decided that their fees should be reduced temporarily by 25%.

"These steps are appropriate given our expectation that full year earnings for the group will now be much lower than we anticipated at the start of the financial year," the company said.

The board has decided not to declare an interim dividend.

The company noted that its expectation for the aggregate operating result for our Sugar, Grocery, Ingredients and Agriculture businesses in the second half is unchanged.

It is too early to provide earnings guidance for the remainder of the current financial year, the company said.

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