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UK's biggest family business reports strong results

Associated British Foods, the food and retail group owned by the Weston family, announced 13 September that trading for the second half had risen substantially and that it expected strong full-year results for the year ending 18 September.

The UK-based group, which owns discount retail chain Primark alongside its food brands such as Kingsmill, Twinings and Ryvita, said in a trading update: "Trading for the group since the half year has been strong resulting in a substantial increase in adjusted operating profit for the second half compared to last year.

"As previously indicated, earnings for the full year will show very good progress."

AB Foods highlighted its sugar business as an area that has grown significantly in the last year, but it also said it had seen modest growth in its agriculture, grocery and retail businesses. The company also cautioned that higher commodity prices could make trading next year more difficult.

AB Foods, which is 45% owned by third-generation CEO George Weston and his family, will report its full-year results on 9 November and had 2008/2009 revenues of €11.15 billion. 

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