TIDMABF

RNS Number : 7201R

Associated British Foods PLC

09 November 2021

 
For release 9 November 2021 
 Annual Results Announcement 
 Year ended 18 September 2021 
 

Associated British Foods plc results for 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021

Strong delivery in food; retail trading and margin recovering

Financial Headlines

 
                                                                     Constant 
                                                   Actual currency   currency 
                                                            change     change 
=====================================  ==========  ===============  ========= 
Group revenue                          GBP13,884m          In line        +1% 
 
Adjusted operating profit               GBP1,011m          *    1%        +2% 
 
Adjusted profit before tax                GBP908m          *    1% 
 
Adjusted earnings per share                 80.1p          *    1% 
Dividends per share 
 
  *    Interim                               6.2p 
 
  *    Final                                20.5p 
 
  *    Special                              13.8p 
Gross investment                          GBP721m 
Net cash before lease liabilities       GBP1,901m 
Net debt including lease liabilities    GBP1,380m 
Statutory operating profit                GBP808m          In line 
Statutory profit before tax               GBP725m              +6% 
Basic earnings per share                    60.5p              +5% 
=====================================  ==========  ===============  ========= 
 

Statutory operating profit of GBP808m for the year was broadly in line with the statutory operating profit of GBP810m last year and is stated after charging net exceptional items of GBP151m this year compared to GBP156m in the last financial year.

 
Strong delivery in food 
  Combined revenue up 5%(1) and adjusted operating profit up 10% to 
   GBP760m(1) 
  Sugar: very strong performance, adjusted operating profit up 75%(1) 
  Grocery: brand investment and strong international growth 
    Progress in Agriculture and Ingredients 
Retail trading and margin recovering 
  Primark adjusted operating profit up 15% to GBP415m(2) 
  Like-for-like(3) sales down 12% on pre-pandemic levels 
  Strong profit margin recovery, with second half margin of 10.6%(4) 
  Wide-reaching new sustainability strategy launched 
  Plans to accelerate selling space expansion in major growth markets 
Dividend 
  Total dividend of 34.3p per share declared and proposed: special 
   dividend 13.8p and final dividend 20.5p 
    Total dividends for the year 40.5p per share 
 

George Weston, Chief Executive of Associated British Foods, said:

"Our financial performance this year more than ever demonstrates the resilience of the group. This comes from the strength of our brands, the diversity of our products and markets, our geographic spread, conservative financing and an organisation design that permits fast and flexible decision-taking.

We provided safe, nutritious food under the most extraordinary conditions again this year, proving the value and resilience of our supply chains. Our food businesses delivered an adjusted operating profit increase of 10%, driven by high demand and improved productivity.

Primark delivered a good performance in the face of continued disruption to trading caused by the pandemic. It also unveiled its wide-reaching sustainability strategy with the aim of making more sustainable fashion affordable for all. Although the possibility of further trading restrictions cannot be ruled out, we expect Primark to deliver a much improved margin and profit next year. We are now intent on expanding our new store pipeline and investing in technology and digital capabilities to continue improving the performance of the business.

Given the strength of our balance sheet and our confidence in the future we are setting out today a new capital cash allocation policy that provides the Group with the capital it needs both for investment and financial stability while allowing for enhanced returns to shareholders when appropriate. We are announcing a special dividend for shareholders today as a result.

We have the people and the cash resources to seize the opportunities ahead and we look to the future with confidence."

(1) At constant currency

(2) Excluding the repayment of job retention scheme monies

(3) Like-for-like sales metric expressed over two years enables measurement of the performance of our retail stores compared to our experience in 2019, which was

before any of the economic effects of COVID-19

(4) Excluding 53(rd) week and the repayment of job retention scheme monies

The Group has defined, and outlined the purpose of, its Alternative performance measures in note 13. These measures are used within the Financial Headlines and in this Annual Results Announcement. The 53rd week applies to Primark and George Weston Foods .

For further information please contact:

Associated British Foods:

John Bason, Finance Director

Tel: 020 7399 6545

Citigate Dewe Rogerson:

Tel: 020 7638 9571

Chris Barrie

Tel: 07968 727289

Jos Bieneman

Tel: 07834 336650

There will be an analyst and investor presentation at 09.00am GMT today which will be streamed online and accessed via our website here.

Notes to Editors

Associated British Foods is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of GBP13.9bn and 128,000 employees in 53 countries. It has significant businesses in Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

Our aim is to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for long-term profitable growth. We look to achieve this through a combination of growth of existing businesses, acquisition of complementary new businesses and achievement of high levels of operating efficiency.

Annual Results Announcement

For the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021

Chairman's statement

The economic effects of the measures taken by governments to restrict the COVID-19 pandemic were evident in the financial results for our last financial year and in the results for this financial year. The Board recognises that a Group of our scale and significance has responsibilities to many stakeholders. I want to say thank you once again to every employee for their hard work and determination in these difficult times.

Sales and profit for the Group this financial year were again below pre-COVID levels and this was driven by the results for Primark, where a third of its available trading days were lost as a result of store closures due to the public health measures taken in our major markets. The Primark management and operational teams demonstrated agility in responding to both the fast changing and wide range of trading restrictions applied to our stores over the year. The strength of Primark's sales after the reopening of all our stores in the spring demonstrated the relevance and appeal of our value-for-money offering. Growth in our food businesses continued this year with a combined increase in revenue of 5% and increase in adjusted operating profit of 10% this financial year, at constant currency.

Importantly, during this difficult trading year, we maintained our focus on building for the future.

In Grocery, we continued to build our brands with a number of new product introductions and wider international distribution. We made significant progress with the expansion of Twinings in Wellness teas, Ovaltine growth in China, Brazil and Switzerland, the overseas development of Patak's and Mazzetti and the continuing development of Yumi's in Australia. In Ingredients, we made major steps to build our development capability and opened new technology development centres for our bakery ingredients and enzyme businesses. Our yeast joint venture with Wilmar International in China became operational this year, progress was made on building a major new yeast facility and we expect strong growth from this business in the future.

We invested GBP721m in our businesses this year. We made good progress with a number of major capital projects: work to recommission the Vivergo bioethanol plant in the UK; a major new animal feed mill in Western Australia; and a number of capacity increases including bakery production in Australia and yeast production in Brazil. In Primark, we continued to increase retail selling space with the opening of 15 new stores and developed our presence in the important US and Central European markets. We made progress in the development and implementation of new inventory management and point of sale systems across the store estate. The expansion of our state-of-the art warehouse in Roosendaal in the Netherlands was completed.

Our Responsibility and ESG

Our Company was founded with a conviction that acting responsibly and with integrity is the only way to build and manage a business over the long term. The belief that companies do well when they act well is deeply ingrained in all of us, from the Board and the leadership team, across all our businesses and at all levels of our workforce. We have a clear sense of our social purpose. We exist to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food and to provide quality, affordable clothing to hundreds of millions of customers worldwide.

We have a strong belief in our duty to respect the dignity of everyone who works for us, both within our workforce and in our supply chains. We have a firm commitment to operating under the highest standards of corporate citizenship, acting as a good and supportive neighbour to the communities around us while recognising our wider obligations to society as a whole. Our 2021 Responsibility Update details the actions we continue to take to invest in our people, support society, strengthen supply chains and respect our environment. To see how we make a difference, please download this update, at www.abf.co.uk/responsibility .

This year we have extensively engaged with our investors on the key ESG factors for the Group and our strategy and governance in relation to these. We provided an in-depth review of Primark's processes to provide assurance of its supplier practices and of Primark's sustainability strategy, Primark Cares, designed to reduce its impact on the environment and to improve the lives of people in its supply chain. A new customer campaign was launched in September to highlight Primark's commitment to make more sustainable fashion affordable for all. The March and September presentations are available on our website. A further briefing is due to be held in early 2022 and will focus on the environmental factors that are most material for the Group.

Results

Revenue for the Group of GBP13.9bn was in line with last year at actual exchange rates and was 1% ahead at constant currency. All our food businesses delivered growth and in aggregate sales were 5% ahead of last year at constant currency. Primark sales in both years were impacted by trading restrictions and store closures as a result of government measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. The periods of closure were longer this year compared to the last financial year and sales declined by 5% at constant currency as a result.

Adjusted operating profit this year of GBP1,011m was broadly in line with last financial year. For the full year the strengthening of sterling against our major currencies has led to a translation loss of some GBP36m. The adjusted operating profit for Grocery, Sugar, Agriculture and Ingredients combined increased by a strong 10% at constant currency. Primark operating profit margin improved this year with an adjusted operating profit of GBP415m, before repayment of job retention scheme monies of GBP94m, which compared to GBP362m last financial year.

The charge for net finance expense and other financial income declined to GBP103m following the repayment of GBP25m of the private placement debt and there were no RCF interest charges since the facility was not drawn down this year. This was another year where a lower proportion of the Group's profit was generated in the UK and Ireland because of the lower Primark profitability and the Group's adjusted effective tax rate was therefore again elevated, at 28.1%, a small decrease from 28.8% last year.

The Group's net cash before lease liabilities of GBP1.9bn this year compared to GBP1.6bn at the same time last year even after another year in which the pandemic adversely impacted Primark's trading. This outturn reflects the strong cash generating capability of the Group and good working capital management.

The statutory operating profit for the year at GBP808m was broadly in line with last year. It is stated after a net exceptional non-cash charge of GBP151m this year which mainly comprises impairments of GBP141m in property, plant and equipment at our Spanish Sugar business, Azucarera, and other Sugar businesses, and was marginally lower than the GBP156m net exceptional charge last year. Basic earnings per share were 60.5p, an increase from the reported 57.6p last year.

Board

We welcomed Dame Heather Rabbatts as a non-executive director of the Company with effect from 1 March 2021. Heather brings a wealth of experience having held a number of executive and non-executive roles across local government, infrastructure, media and sports. She was the first woman to join the board of the Football Association. She continues to work in film and sports and is a non-executive director of Kier Group plc.

Dividends

The Board decided not to pay any dividends relating to the 2020 financial year. This was due to the uncertainty of cash flow for the Group as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, especially driven by the unknown duration and extent of Primark store closures. The scale of this uncertainty was demonstrated by the cash outflow of some GBP800m experienced in the period March to May 2020. Uncertainty was particularly acute in April and November 2020 when the Board considered the payment of an interim and then a final dividend for the 2020 financial year.

Although uncertainty remained at the 2021 half year, it was substantially lower as a result of the extensive roll-out of vaccinations, and so the Board decided to declare an interim dividend. The dividend of 6.2p per share was based on the proforma adjusted earnings per share in the first half of 18.5p which was net of a GBP79.4m charge for the job retention scheme repayments in respect of that period.

All our stores are now open, and are mostly free of trading restrictions, and the food businesses are trading well. The uncertainty around future cash flows is considerably lower than a year ago although the possibility of further trading restrictions cannot be ruled out. Our net cash before lease liabilities was GBP1.9bn at the year end. The Board is proposing a final dividend of 20.5p per share which together with the interim dividend of 6.2p per share makes a total of 26.7p per share for the year, which is three times covered by the adjusted earnings per share of 80.1p for the year, in line with previous practice. The Board intends to continue to have regard to a cover of three times for regular dividends in the ordinary course.

The Board is pleased by the recovery in trading across the Group's activities and the highly effective management of cash and reduction in financial leverage. As a sign of our confidence, the Board is also declaring a special dividend of 13.8p per share, to be paid as a second interim dividend at the same time as the payment of the final dividend. We determined the amount of this special dividend such that, taken with the final dividend proposed for the 2021 financial year, the aggregate equates to the final dividend of 34.3p per share paid in respect of the 2019 financial year which was our highest ever final dividend and was based on the Group's pre-COVID profitability. Total dividends for the year are 40.5p per share.

The payment date for the 2021 final dividend and second interim dividend will be 14 January 2022 to shareholders on the register on 17 December 2021.

A strong capital base

The Board's treasury policies are in place to maintain a strong capital base and manage the Group's balance sheet and liquidity to ensure long-term financial stability. These policies are the basis for investor, creditor and market confidence and enable the successful development of the business.

The financial leverage policy is that, in the ordinary course of business, the Board prefers to see the Group's ratio of net debt including lease liabilities:Adjusted EBITDA to be well under 1.5 times at each half year and year end reporting date. In exceptional circumstances, the Board will be prepared to see leverage above that level for a short period of time. At the end of this financial year, the financial leverage ratio was 0.7 times. The Group also holds substantial net cash balances which ensure that it has sufficient liquidity to meet unforeseen requirements and at this financial year end net cash balances, before lease liabilities, amounted to GBP1.9bn.

The events of the last two years have clearly demonstrated the importance of having sufficient financial resources and the credit strength to meet the operational challenges faced by our businesses, and in particular Primark. We are pleased that S&P Global announced that they had assigned to the Group an 'A' grade long-term issuer credit rating, with a stable outlook, which reflects the strength of each of the Group's businesses, their diversity and ABF's strong credit metrics underpinned by a conservative financial policy.

Capital allocation policy

Our priority is always to invest in our businesses, both organically and by acquisition, at an appropriate pace and wherever attractive returns on capital can be generated. We see considerable opportunities to do this, both over the short and the medium-term, and across all our businesses. Nevertheless, the ability to invest our capital is inevitably subject to the timing of opportunities and practical limits as to the amount that can be invested within a given timeframe. As a result, the Board may from time to time conclude that it has surplus cash and capital. In making this assessment, the Board will be mindful that financial leverage consistently below 1.0 times and substantial net cash balances at both half and full year ends may indicate such a surplus position.

Surplus capital may be returned to shareholders by special dividend or share buy-backs.

It is not possible to anticipate every possible set of circumstances and this policy must be subject to the Board's discretion. Currently, uncertainty remains over the possible reintroduction of trading restrictions related to COVID-19 and the decision to declare a special dividend at the indicated level is made with this in mind.

Thank you to our employees

At the end of another challenging year I am proud of how our people have continued to respond to the many challenges presented by COVID-19, whilst at the same time taking action and seizing opportunities for our future. The strength of our culture shone through and our operating model of devolved decision making to each business and market enabled us to respond very quickly and appropriately to local challenges. The responses this year were again a testament to the dedication, skills and ingenuity of our people. I will never be able to thank all of them enough for their extraordinary efforts during this time.

Outlook

The lower Group profit in the last two financial years compared to the 2019 financial year was driven by the extensive closure of Primark stores. All of our stores are now open and are mostly free of trading restrictions. There has been an extensive roll-out of vaccinations against COVID-19 in all of the markets where Primark operates and customers have returned to our stores in large numbers. Absent the reimposition of significant restrictions, we expect Primark trading to continue to improve and for sales to increase by at least the estimated GBP2bn of sales lost due to store closures last financial year. Primark will continue to expand its selling space next year, with the most stores being added in two of our key markets, Italy and Spain. The expected significant increase in sales should lead to a sharp improvement in Primark's adjusted operating margin, recovering to above 10%. Primark is not immune to the challenges of supply chain, raw material cost and labour rate inflation. However, we currently expect the impact of these to be broadly mitigated by the transaction currency gain arising from the weaker US dollar, improved store labour efficiency and lower operating costs.

We are seeing significant cost increases in energy, logistics and commodities in addition to the impact of widely reported port congestion and road freight limitations. Our businesses are working to offset the impact of these through cost savings. Where necessary, our food businesses will also implement price increases.

With the recovery in Primark's profitability, we expect the Group's effective tax rate to fall next year to a level closer to pre-COVID rates.

We will continue to invest in building the capacity and capabilities of all our businesses. We expect the improvement in Group profitability to deliver another year of strong cash generation.

Taking these factors into account, we expect significant progress, at both the half and full year, in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the Group.

Michael McLintock

Chairman

Chief Executive's statement

I am proud of how we responded to the many challenges presented by COVID-19 this year. All of our people demonstrated care, good judgement and immense hard work.

Our financial performance this year more than ever demonstrates the resilience of the group. This comes from the strength of our brands, the diversity of our products and markets, our geographic spread, conservative financing and an organisation design that permits fast and flexible decision-taking.

Group revenue was in line with last year at GBP13.9bn at constant currency, with the reduction compared to pre-pandemic levels driven by the loss of sales for the periods in which Primark's stores were closed. Adjusted operating profit of GBP1,011m was broadly in line with last year, which was also impacted by lost sales during the closures of Primark stores.

Our food businesses delivered another strong performance this year and throughout the pandemic we have provided safe, nutritious food under the most extraordinary conditions, proving the value and resilience of our supply chains. The adjusted operating profit of Grocery, Sugar, Agriculture and Ingredients combined increased by 10%, building on an increase of 26% last year, at constant currency.

Sugar delivered another year of very strong improvement with profit margin reaching 9.2% and a 75% increase in adjusted operating profit at constant currency. Our focus in this business has been to deliver an acceptable shareholder return on capital over the cycle and return on average capital employed reached 10.2% this year. The profit improvement was underpinned by significant savings from our ongoing cost improvement and efficiency programmes. Notably, after a disappointing performance last year, Illovo recovered strongly, benefiting from higher sales as a consequence of our long-term drive to develop African domestic and regional volumes.

Grocery revenues were 3% ahead of last year at constant currency. This was achieved despite a small decline in some retail volumes this year compared to the elevated levels seen last year. Twinings Ovaltine delivered strong sales growth, supported by increased marketing investment and driven by Ovaltine growth in emerging markets and a programme of new product development in existing markets. The international development of a number of our brands, notably Patak's and Mazzetti, continued. The adjusted operating profit for Grocery declined marginally, mainly due to weaker corn oil margins at ACH. The development of our brands over the medium-term is demonstrated by an increase in adjusted operating profit of 12% over the pre-COVID levels of 2019, following a very strong profit increase of 15% last year, at constant currency.

AB Agri performed well with progress in both revenue and adjusted operating profit. Growth was notable in China, our UK feed business AB Connect and in AB Neo, which specialises in feed for animals in the early stages of life, driven by higher volumes and commodity prices. Ingredients' sales were 4% ahead, and adjusted operating profit was 8% ahead of last year at constant currency driven by strong trading at AB Mauri.

Primark

As we look back on two years of disruption to Primark trading caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our confidence in the Primark business model is unaltered.

There is no doubt that Primark, with its reliance on a highly efficient store retail model, has been seen to be vulnerable to the pandemic. The closure of its stores for long periods and restrictions on trading inevitably led to significant loss of sales and profit.

We believe that Primark's proposition of providing customers with a wide selection of products at great value prices is highly sustainable. The low-cost retailing model is driven by structural advantages: purchasing quantities on a large scale leads to efficient production, a broad supplier base with long-term relationships, very low distribution costs throughout the supply chain from supplier to store, and high store sales densities. These characteristics provide Primark with a differentiated business model with real competitive advantage.

Primark is a compelling brand proposition. It offers customers a wide selection of products, from everyday essentials to the latest trends, for all age groups and at prices everyone can afford, ranged across attractive up-to-date stores. There is strong supporting evidence that, for a substantial share of customers, the in-store shopping experience will have enduring appeal. Primark is uniquely placed on the High Street to take advantage of this as it continually evolves its store design and in-store services and expands into new product ranges attracting existing and new customers to the business.

At the time of writing, all our stores have reopened and are trading with only limited restrictions in some countries. There has been an extensive roll-out of vaccinations against COVID-19 in all the markets where Primark operates, and customers have returned to our stores in large numbers. A post-pandemic equilibrium has not yet been reached. However, like-for-like sales, compared to pre-COVID levels, are steadily improving as customers' appetite to return to shopping and city centres increases and, over the medium-term, as foreign and domestic tourism recovers.

Next year, we expect Primark to increase sales significantly along with a sharp improvement in adjusted operating margin, recovering to above 10%, absent the reimposition of further restrictions on store trading. We see opportunities to reduce costs further, with lower operating costs from reduced lease costs and the harnessing of technology in our warehouses and stores. Additionally, Primark is investing to upgrade its digital presence and online visibility and is on track to launch a redesigned customer facing website in the UK in the first quarter of 2022. In September, Primark launched a wide-reaching new sustainability strategy aiming to position the business as a pioneer for making more sustainable fashion affordable for all, engaging a new generation of customers. We believe this strategy can be implemented without any significant movements in the Primark profit margin over the longer term.

Primark sees further growth potential in all of its existing markets, and in some new markets besides. In particular, it will accelerate the expansion of its selling space in the major markets of the US, France, Italy and Iberia, building on its established brand recognition, proven track record of successful store openings and strengthening relationships with key landlords.

Operating review

Grocery

 
                                                      Actual   Constant 
                                      2021   2020   currency   currency 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Revenue GBPm                         3,593  3,528        +2%        +3% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
 
Adjusted operating profit GBPm         413    437    *    5%    *    2% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit margin     11.5%  12.4% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Return on average capital employed   31.4%  31.3% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
 

Grocery revenues were 3% ahead of last year at constant currency with particularly strong growth in Twinings Ovaltine more than offsetting expected decline in sales at Allied Bakeries. Adjusted operating profit however declined, primarily driven by weaker corn oil margins at ACH, lower margins at George Weston Foods and a one-off charge of GBP5m for further restructuring in Allied Bakeries. The improvement in return on average capital employed was mainly driven by lower working capital in our Don meat business in Australia and lower assets employed in Allied Bakeries.

Twinings and Ovaltine continued to make strong progress. Ovaltine sales growth was primarily in Thailand, China and Switzerland, and was supported by the continuing success of new product launches in a number of countries. Twinings revenue growth was driven by strong new product launches and good performances in France and North America. Twinings has become the leading tea brand in France.

At Allied Bakeries, sales reduced following our decision to exit the supply of bread to the Co-op in April this year. We continued to drive significant cost reductions with savings from a further consolidation of our operations, the most material being delivered in the distribution network. At the end of the year we successfully commenced a partnership to supply premium bakery products to a leading UK multiple retailer.

AB World Foods delivered a record sales year and international progress continued to be particularly strong supported by new distribution gains this year in North America. We increased marketing investment in Patak's and Blue Dragon to levels significantly ahead of pre-COVID. Al'Fez continued to perform strongly with further distribution gains in both UK and international markets. Silver Spoon and Westmill sales were also significantly ahead and maintained the sales uplifts achieved last year.

At Acetum, our leading Balsamic Vinegar producer, revenues continued to increase with the Mazzetti brand performing very strongly. We increased the marketing support for this brand, and good commercial performance, with new listings, delivered international growth in the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

As expected adjusted operating profit for ACH declined this year, with margins impacted by the later phasing of price increases following a sharp increase in the cost of corn oil. Substantial price increases were implemented over the year to offset cost pressures while keeping our brand equity relevant for consumers. A further price increase has been announced.

Revenue at George Weston Foods in Australia, excluding the benefit of the 53rd week this year, was ahead of last year. Adjusted operating profit was lower, mainly driven by a margin decline in the Don meat business. Despite operating restrictions imposed by regional government arising from COVID-19, the Don factory performed well delivering excellent labour utilisation and meat yields, as well as controlling fixed overhead costs. Although we have seen some recovery in foodservice, we are still experiencing volumes lower than last year. In Tip Top Australia, The One and Abbotts bread brands continued to perform strongly and benefited from a consumer trend to buy trusted brands. Yumi's delivered strong growth with share gains in its existing products and successful new product launches.

Sugar

 
                                                      Actual   Constant 
                                      2021   2020   currency   currency 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Revenue GBPm                         1,650  1,594        +4%        +8% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit GBPm         152    100       +52%       +75% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit margin      9.2%   6.3% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Return on average capital employed   10.2%   6.3% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
 

AB Sugar delivered another year of strong trading performance with big improvements in adjusted operating profit, profit margin and return on average capital employed. Revenue was 8% ahead of last year at constant currency with higher domestic and regional volumes for Illovo as well as higher prices in Europe and Africa. The commercial performance in Illovo, together with continued savings from our cost improvement and efficiency programmes, resulted in a 75% increase in adjusted operating profit to GBP152m.

The world sugar price continued to rise through the year. European sugar prices also increased with a reduction in stocks following lower EU sugar production in the last two campaigns. Looking ahead, estimates for EU sugar production in next year's campaign are marginally higher, with a recovery in yields combined with a slight reduction in the planted area, but are still estimated to be broadly in line with EU consumption in the next marketing year.

UK sugar production of 0.9 million tonnes this year was well down on the 1.19 million tonnes produced last year, due to adverse weather conditions at the time of planting and the severe impact of virus yellows, a disease transmitted by aphids on sugar beet. Difficult processing conditions and limited beet availability increased costs further during the campaign and were an offset to the higher sales prices achieved. Looking ahead, our production forecast for next year is marginally over 1.0 million tonnes with a reversion to normal yields more than offsetting a reduced planting area. We expect our UK sales to continue to be strong next year although significant cost increases in gas, carbon and logistics are likely to limit an improvement in year-on-year profitability. Work to restart the Vivergo bioethanol plant next calendar year is on track and the recent transition to E10 in blended petrol underpins the strong demand for bioethanol from fuel blenders.

In Spain, strong demand and higher prices resulted in a significant increase in revenues. The operating profit margin, however, was impacted by lower volumes from the northern beet crop. Our current view for yield and sugar content from beet sugar and lower margins due to the expected increase in future raw refining volumes, has resulted in a non-cash exceptional charge of EUR136m in these accounts to write-down the net asset value of this business.

Illovo revenues were ahead of last year driven by both strong domestic sales, particularly in Zambia and Malawi, and regional sales. Sugar production was ahead of last year with better production in Tanzania and Mozambique compared to last year but was held back by disruption to the operations in South Africa and Eswatini as a result of civil unrest. The recovery in profit this year is very strong, with adjusted operating profit exceeding that delivered in recent years. This was driven by improved sales, the benefits from restructuring activities last year and further efficiency activities this year.

The campaign in China completed with sugar production ahead of last year although poor agronomic conditions held back the yield from a larger planted area.

Given the on-going trading challenges in some of our smaller sugar businesses we have reviewed our outlook for these cash-generating units, including the forecast evolution of beet area and yields. As a result, we have made a one-time non-cash adjustment of GBP21m to the relevant net asset values as an exceptional charge this year.

Agriculture

 
                                                      Actual   Constant 
                                      2021   2020   currency   currency 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Revenue GBPm                         1,537  1,395       +10%       +11% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit GBPm          44     43        +2%        +7% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit margin      2.9%   3.1% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Return on average capital employed   10.6%  10.5% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
 

Trading at AB Agri was strongly ahead of last year with revenue and adjusted operating profit increases of 11% and 7% respectively at constant currency.

The revenue growth was delivered by higher commodity prices and an increase in feed volumes. Growth was notable in China, our UK feed business AB Connect and in AB Neo, which specialises in feed for animals in the early stages of life.

China delivered a much-improved trading performance and benefited from a recovery from the effects of African Swine Fever. We developed feed sales for other species and supported our margins with good procurement. The regionalisation of the nutrition technical team and increased technical talent has supported the launch of new products. Adjusted operating profit at Frontier was ahead with a much-improved result from grain trading as a result of increased commodity price volatility driven by reduced UK wheat availability, Brexit uncertainty and tightening global supply and demand. AB Neo was also ahead driven by the performance in Spain due to increased demand for starter feed and additives, as well as favourable buying gains.

Sales and adjusted operating profit at AB Vista, our international feed enzymes business, were broadly in line with last year. Sales in Asia Pacific and the Americas were ahead and offset a decline in EMEA as lockdowns affected meat consumption and consequently feed production.

Our UK pig and poultry animal feed business has announced its intention to build a state-of-the-art animal feed mill in the east of England. This substantial investment will provide much needed capacity and will also ensure consistent quality.

Ingredients

 
                                                      Actual   Constant 
                                      2021   2020   currency   currency 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Revenue GBPm                         1,508  1,503    In line        +4% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit GBPm         151    147        +3%        +8% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Adjusted operating profit margin     10.0%   9.8% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
Return on average capital employed   16.9%  16.7% 
===================================  =====  =====  =========  ========= 
 

Ingredients sales were 4% ahead of last year and strong trading by AB Mauri delivered an increase in adjusted operating profit of 8%, all at constant currency. The results of AB Mauri in Argentina continue to be reported under IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies, which reduced operating profit by GBP7m (2020 - GBP5m).

The sales growth in AB Mauri was led by our operations in Latin America, with Brazil benefiting from a recovery in the craft channel and new non-dairy creamer product launches. Argentina delivered good growth despite difficult ongoing economic conditions. Strong growth was also achieved in the South and South East Asia region, supported by the implementation of a strong technical service and route-to-market model. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the EMEA region allowed product development activities to resume and sales increased as a result. The Italian business has now completed a new, centralised bakery ingredients centre that will consolidate and enhance our competitiveness and innovation in production and product development. Last year, the demand for retail yeast and bakery ingredients generally remained elevated compared to pre-COVID levels. However, some declines to pre-COVID volumes were noted in countries as pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

During the year, we opened our new Global Technology Centre in the Netherlands. This provides an upgraded international hub for the research and development of bakery solutions, as well as accommodating a pilot plant, laboratories and training facilities.

Significant inflationary pressures emerged across many areas of our cost base during the final months of the year, and these are anticipated to continue in the new financial year. Price increases will be implemented to preserve margins.

ABF Ingredients businesses delivered revenue and profit growth despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the supply chain. A recovery of customer demand for our products was particularly noticeable in the last quarter.

Our enzymes business delivered a record year in its bakery, food and textiles platforms driven by strong growth outside Europe, where we continued to enhance our local application and commercial capabilities. Innovative new products and operational efficiencies will be facilitated by the new state-of-the art pilot plant which was commissioned during the year. We maintained share in the animal feed enzyme market despite competitive pricing pressures.

ABITEC grew its sales in the pharmaceutical and nutritional lipids markets. Our yeast extracts business delivered a record year in sales and profit driven by increased sales to the fast-growing market for meat analogues, new product introductions in human and animal nutrition and demand recovery in the US foodservice industry. Our antacids and pharmaceutical excipients business, SPI Pharma, also delivered good growth fuelled by price and volumes, global momentum in antacids and the promising initial success of a new excipient product line for oral dosage forms.

Retail

 
                                                                       Actual    Constant 
                                                      2021   2020    currency    currency 
===================================================  =====  =====  ==========  ========== 
                                                                                 *    5% 
Revenue GBPm                                         5,593  5,895     *    5% 
===================================================  =====  =====  ==========  ========== 
Adjusted operating profit (after repayment 
 of job retention scheme monies) GBPm                  321    362    *    11%    *    11% 
===================================================  =====  =====  ==========  ========== 
Adjusted operating profit (before repayment 
 of job retention scheme monies) GBPm                  415    362        +15%        +15% 
===================================================  =====  =====  ==========  ========== 
Adjusted operating profit margin (before repayment 
 of job retention scheme monies)                      7.4%   6.1% 
===================================================  =====  =====  ==========  ========== 
Return on average capital employed (before 
 repayment of job retention scheme monies)            6.6%   5.6% 
===================================================  =====  =====  ==========  ========== 
 

Sales at Primark, including a 53rd week this financial year, were 5% below last year at both actual and constant currency exchange rates. This year a third of the available trading days were lost as a result of store closures due to the public health measures in our major markets to control the spread of COVID-19. This compared with the loss of one quarter of the available trading days in the previous financial year. Despite this decreased level of trading days, adjusted operating profit, before repayment of job retention scheme monies, increased 15% to GBP415m representing an adjusted operating profit margin of 7.4% for the full year. Operating profit margin improved during the year from 1.9% in the first half to 10.6% in the second half, excluding the 53rd week. The repayment of monies received from the job retention schemes in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Czechia and Slovenia this year has been charged in the second half at GBP94m.

This year has been characterised by greater than expected restrictions on the ability of Primark to trade. For this financial year we estimate the loss of sales, while stores were closed, to be some GBP2bn. When stores were open, full year like-for-like sales were 12% below two years ago and were 7% lower excluding destination city centre stores. In the first half, the like-for-like performance reflected lower category spend and lower footfall due to trading restrictions. When the stores reopened in the third quarter, customers came back to our stores in large numbers and sales were 3% ahead on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period two years ago. Like-for-like sales declined by 17% in the fourth quarter and were affected by the impact on footfall of the changes in public health measures. Trading varied considerably across the estate. In the UK, sales were affected by the number of people required to self-isolate following contact tracing alerts - the "pingdemic". The self-isolation rules were then eased in early August with like-for-like sales showing a corresponding improvement through the period from a decline of 24% in the first four weeks of the quarter to a decline of 11% in the last four weeks of the quarter. In Continental Europe, like-for-like sales were impacted by the performance of our stores in Spain and Portugal with the decline in foreign tourism at that time.

Our US business performed well this financial year and delivered a good profit margin. Like-for-like sales consistently improved during the year and for the full year were 6% up on the same period two years ago excluding the city centre Boston store. Six years after our first store openings, Primark is clearly resonating with the US customer and brand awareness continues to build. This was especially evident in the strong trading at all the new stores opened during the year: Sawgrass Mills Florida, American Dream New Jersey, State Street Chicago and Fashion District Philadelphia. The performance of both our existing and newly opened stores, combined with the profitability, gives us confidence to increase the pace of expansion in this important market.

We continue to extend our product offering to meet changing customer needs. In September we launched an expanded Primark Home department at Merry Hill in the West Midlands, with increased in-store selling space to offer an all-new range of quality, affordable home and lifestyle products. The new space enabled us to offer a much wider range including new categories such as cookware, ceramics, rugs and furniture. Following a very positive customer response, we are rolling this extended range out to a total of 40 stores over the coming months.

Sales of our autumn/winter ranges have started well and sales densities continue to improve. Primark has capitalised on the continued trend for 'comfort living' with the launch of its range of 'snuddies', attracting a strong response from customers across all markets. Bestsellers include the avocado print for men and, under our licence collection, Minnie Mouse for kids. The Primark Edit of quality investment pieces for women has proven very popular since launch in September, with strong sales of its seasonal staples such as cotton cashmere jumpers and a classic trench coat driven by promotion on Primark's social channels. Another trend which came through strongly in the second half was the desire by more customers to get outside and get active. We launched the Great Outdoors range with a collection of waterproof jackets, boots and breathable trousers spanning womenswear, menswear and kids. It has also extended the range of product under the Primark Cares label with 65% of the Outdoors collection made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials. Overall, sales of the Primark Cares range, made from recycled and more sustainably sourced materials, continue to perform strongly since the customer launch of our

sustainability strategy in September.

Following the strong trading after the reopening of our stores in the spring, inventory, which had built up during the lockdown, reduced. All spring/summer inventory brought forward from last year has been sold and the autumn/winter inventory held over from last season will be sold in the coming months. In recent weeks, we have experienced further supply chain disruption including temporary closures at dispatch ports, limited sea container availability and congestion at destination ports. These disruptions have delayed both the handover of inventory from suppliers and the shipping and delivery of inventory to store. We are closely managing this with the support of our logistics providers, taking advantage of our scale and efficient warehouses, and we are prioritising the product most in demand. Although, at this point, the disruption is causing limited availability on a small number of lines, our warehouse inventories give us stock cover on the majority of lines for the important Christmas trading period.

Margin in the second half benefited from a significant reduction in store operating costs, driven by lower employee headcount, improved labour scheduling, and savings in other operating costs. Looking ahead to our next financial year, operating profit margin will continue to benefit from these store labour efficiencies and lower operating costs. Our forecast is for the effect on margin of the increased costs relating to supply chain and raw material inflationary pressures to be broadly mitigated by these lower store operating costs and the transaction currency gain from the weaker US dollar exchange rate. We expect the adjusted operating profit margin to be above 10%.

In September, Primark unveiled a wide-reaching new sustainability strategy, pledging to make more sustainable fashion choices affordable for all. It is designed to reduce fashion waste, halve carbon emissions across its value chain and improve the lives of people who make Primark products. The new strategy was launched with a new customer campaign, 'How Change Looks', setting out the key commitments in prominent locations across all stores and digital channels in all our 14 markets. The nine-year programme includes commitments to ensure all Primark clothing is made from recycled or more sustainably sourced materials by 2030, increasing from 25% of all clothes sold at the time of launch; the elimination of all single-use plastics in Primark's own operations by 2027; and the commitment to pursue a living wage for workers in the supply chain by 2030. Primark will report annually on its progress against the nine high-level targets in the new strategy.

This sustainability transition is expected to lead to only a modest increase in costs in some areas of the business, net of mitigating actions, over the period to 2030. We are confident of our ability to mitigate these increased costs without any material impact on Primark's operating profit margin in the short term and without any significant movements in the margin over the longer term. Additionally, we believe that this is an opportunity to drive further sales growth from both existing and new customers.

Digital is becoming increasingly important in Primark. We expect the roll-out of the enabling stock management system, Oracle, across all our stores in the current financial year and for all stores to be equipped with state-of-the-art point of sale terminals by the end of calendar year 2022. Following the announcement in July of our plans to launch a new customer-facing website, the design and development of the new digital platform is progressing well. We are on track to launch the new website in the UK in the first quarter of 2022. The new site will showcase those products which customers expect to be able to browse online, before they come into our stores, with much richer product information and imagery for every product shown. We expect this to be around 70% of our total range, substantially up from some 20% on the current site. The new site will then enable customers to research product availability in their local store and this responds to what we know is a clear customer demand. The initial response from consumer testing has been positive. In addition, we are building digital marketing capability to enable us to start to capture and manage customer data and to begin to communicate directly with customers with relevant marketing messages.

At year end we were trading from 398 stores and 16.8 million sq ft of retail selling space, after our latest new store in the Fashion District of Philadelphia in the US was opened on 16 September. This represents an increase of 0.6 million sq ft over the year. Fifteen stores were added this year: four stores in the US; four in Spain; two in Italy, and one each in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as our first store in Czechia. We relocated to new premises in Southend. One of our first stores to open in the Netherlands, a small store in Alkmaar, was closed. Downsizing of the Downtown Crossing store in Boston was successfully completed in September. Encouragingly sales in the three German stores which were downsized last year have remained in line with pre-downsizing levels.

In the next financial year, we are planning to add a net 0.5 million sq ft of additional selling space. Eleven store openings have been confirmed: four new stores in Italy, four new stores in Spain and one store in each of US, Czechia and Ireland.

We see growth in all our existing markets. Over the next five years we expect our store estate to grow to 530 stores from 398 at financial year end. In particular, we will accelerate the expansion of our selling space in the major markets of the US, France, Italy and Iberia, building on our established brand recognition, proven track record of successful store openings and strengthening relationships with key landlords. Reflecting this, we are expanding our team of in-market specialist acquisition surveyors. We are increasing the use of technology and demographic data to inform our decisions about new store locations. Additionally, we expect to benefit from more store opportunities with the revival of property sector development as we emerge from the pandemic.

In the US, the potential for new stores is considerable. We successfully opened four stores in the last financial year, including new stores well beyond our existing north-east footprint, in Florida and Chicago. This financial year we are committed to opening a store on Jamaica Avenue, Queens and have already signed four further leases to expand our reach in the greater New York area and a lease for a store in Tyson's Corner, Washington.

In Western Europe, our major opportunities for growth are in Iberia, Italy and France. In Spain, our second biggest market, we opened four new stores during this financial year, including flagships in the city centres of Barcelona and Bilbao, bringing our total number to 52 at the year end. We have confirmed plans to open many more locations in this important country in the coming years, including four in the new financial year. We plan to add four new stores in Italy, the largest being Milan Via Torino.

We are also expanding into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). A milestone was the opening of our 46,000 sq ft store in Prague's historic Wenceslas Square in June, building on our recently opened stores in Ljubljana Slovenia and in Poland. Our reception from CEE shoppers has been very positive. We are opening our second store in Czechia next summer and we have signed leases for our first store in Bratislava, Slovakia and four further stores in Poland.

In addition, we will continue to explore opportunities in new markets.

New store openings in the year ended 18 September 2021:

 
Czechia             France                  Italy                      Netherlands 
 Prague Wenceslas    Coquelles               Roma Maximo                Rotterdam Forum 
 Square                                      Roma - Est 
 
Poland              Spain                   UK                         US 
 Poznan              Barcelona Sant Cugat    Tamworth                   Sawgrass Mills Florida 
                     Espacio León                                  American Dream New 
                     Bilbao Gran Via                                    Jersey 
                     Marbella                                           Chicago State Street 
                                                                        Philadelphia Fashion 
                                                                        District 
 
                                                                Year ended              Year ended 
                                                              18 September            12 September 
                                                                      2021                    2020 
                                                    ======================  ====================== 
                                                                     sq ft                   sq ft 
                                                    # of stores        000    # of stores      000 
==================================================  ===========  =========  =============  ======= 
UK                                                          191      7,597            190    7,534 
Spain                                                        52      2,143             48    1,988 
Germany                                                      32      1,841             32    1,841 
Republic of Ireland                                          36      1,076             36    1,076 
France                                                       20      1,044             19      996 
Netherlands                                                  20      1,016             20      971 
US                                                           13        563              9      470 
Belgium                                                       8        403              8      403 
Portugal                                                     10        383             10      383 
Italy                                                         7        361              5      257 
Austria                                                       5        242              5      242 
Poland                                                        2         77              1       40 
Czechia                                                       1         50            n/a      n/a 
Slovenia                                                      1         46              1       46 
==================================================  ===========  =========  =============  ======= 
Total                                                       398     16,842            384   16,247 
==================================================  ===========  =========  =============  ======= 
 
 

Financial review

Group performance

Group revenue was in line with last year on a reported basis at GBP13.9bn. On a reported basis adjusted operating profit of GBP1,011m was 1% lower than last financial year. In calculating adjusted operating profit, the amortisation charge on non-operating intangibles, profits less losses on disposal of non-current assets, transaction costs, amortisation of acquired inventory fair value adjustments and exceptional items are excluded from statutory operating profit.

The income statement this year included a net charge for exceptional items of GBP151m. This mainly comprised the impairment of certain plant and equipment in our sugar business. In Spain, our current view for yield and sugar content from beet sugar and lower margins due to the expected increase in future raw refining volumes, resulted in a non-cash exceptional charge of EUR136m to write-down the net asset value of this business. Given the ongoing trading challenges in some of our smaller sugar businesses, following a review of our projections for the forecast evolution of beet area and yields, we have made a non-cash adjustment of GBP21m to the relevant net asset values as an exceptional charge this year. An inventory charge of GBP21m in Primark was taken at the half year which related to the clearance from our stores before reopening after lockdown of certain seasonal items on display and which could not be sold before the end of the season. This provision was used during the second half of the year. Prior year exceptional items included a mark-down provision of GBP22m for potential damage to Primark inventory stored on our behalf by suppliers for longer than usual as a result of the pandemic. Minimal damage was found and the majority of the provision was released this year.

On an unadjusted basis, statutory operating profit was in line with last year at GBP808m.

The strengthening of sterling this year against some of our trading currencies resulted in a loss on translation of GBP36m.

Net finance expense decreased this year due to the repayment of GBP25m of private placement debt and no RCF interest charges following the repayment of the facility at the end of the last financial year. Profits on the sale and closure of businesses amounted to GBP20m and profits less losses on sale of non-current assets were GBP4m.

Statutory profit before tax on a reported basis was up 6% to GBP725m. On our adjusted basis profit before tax was down by 1% to GBP908m.

Acquisitions and disposals

In May 2021, the Group's Ingredients business acquired DR Healthcare España, a Spanish enzymes producer for a total consideration of GBP14m.

During the period the Group contributed GBP43m to the bakery ingredients joint venture in China with Wilmar International. These businesses were classified as a disposal group and held for sale at the previous year end. In August 2021, the Group agreed the sale, subject to regulatory approval, of a further factory in China to this joint venture and a non-cash reversal of GBP10m for the impairment of these assets has been included in profit on sale and closure of business.

Closure provisions of GBP3m relating to disposals made in previous years which are no longer required were released to sale and closure of business in Ingredients and Grocery, both in Asia Pacific.

Taxation

We recognise the importance of complying fully with all applicable tax laws as well as paying and collecting the right amount of tax in every country in which the Group operates. Our Board-adopted tax strategy is based on seven tax principles that are embedded in the financial and non-financial processes and controls of the Group. This tax strategy is available on the Group's website at: www.abf.co.uk/documents/pdfs/policies/abf_tax_strategy.pdf .

This year's tax charge on the adjusted profit before tax was GBP255m at an effective rate of 28.1% (2020 - 28.8%). Based on current tax rates at the time of writing and with the recovery in Primark's profitability, we expect the Group's effective tax rate to fall next year to a level closer to pre-COVID rates.

Looking ahead beyond next year, we anticipate upward pressure on the effective tax rate due to the impact of corporation tax increases, notably the increase enacted in the UK, and the proposed increase recently announced in Ireland. We continue to monitor developments in other jurisdictions and also in respect of the OECD's BEPS 2.0 proposals.

The total tax charge for the year of GBP227m benefited from a credit of GBP27m (2020 - GBP42m) for tax relief on the amortisation of non-operating intangible assets, amortisation of acquired inventory fair value adjustments, profits on disposal of non-current assets, losses on disposal of businesses and exceptional items.

Earnings and dividends

Earnings attributable to equity shareholders in the current year were GBP478m and the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year, which is used to calculate earnings per share, was 790 million (2020 - 790 million). Given the marginal decline in operating profits and the reduction in the adjusted effective tax rate from 28.8% to 28.1%, earnings per ordinary share were 5% higher than last year at 60.5p. Adjusted earnings per share, which provides a more consistent measure of trading performance, declined by 1% from 81.1p to 80.1p.

We decided not to declare an interim dividend nor propose a final dividend relating to the last financial year. This was due to the impact of COVID-19 on the Group's cash flow driven by the duration and number of Primark store closures. This year the Board declared an interim dividend of 6.2 pence per share (2020 - nil) which was paid on 9 July 2021 to shareholders registered at the close of business on 4 June 2021.

For the full year, the Board has proposed a final dividend of 20.5p per share giving a full year dividend of 26.7p per share. Further, the Board has declared the payment of a special dividend, to be paid as a second interim dividend, of 13.8p per share. The payment date for the 2021 final dividend and second interim dividend will be 14 January 2022 to shareholders on the register on 17 December 2021.

Total dividends for the 2021 financial year would therefore be 40.5p per share at a total cost of GBP320m.

Balance sheet

Non-current assets of GBP10.8bn were GBP0.1bn lower than last year. This was driven by a decrease in the investment in property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets with depreciation, amortisation and impairments higher than capital expenditure and acquisitions made in the year. This was mostly offset by an increase in employee benefits assets as the surplus in the UK defined benefit pension scheme improved significantly.

Working capital at the year end was marginally higher than last year.

Net cash at the year end excluding lease liabilities was GBP1.9bn compared with net cash at the end of last year of GBP1.6bn reflecting the strong operating cash flow in the year. Net debt including lease liabilities was GBP1.4bn compared with GBP2.1bn last year.

The Group's net assets of GBP10bn were GBP0.6bn higher than last year. Return on capital employed for the Group which is calculated by expressing adjusted operating profit as a percentage of the average capital employed for the year, was higher this year at 9.8% compared with 9.5% last year.

Cash flow

Net cash inflow from operating activities decreased from GBP1,753m last year to GBP1,413m this year mainly as a result of the increase in the change in working capital compared to the prior year. Capital expenditure increased by GBP5m compared to the prior year and GBP21m was realised from the sale of property, plant and equipment. The net cash outlay on acquisitions and disposals was GBP23m.

Tax paid in the year amounted to GBP298m (2020 - GBP254m). The increase in tax paid was primarily due to the state aid payment of GBP23m and tax top up payments made due to strong final quarter results at the end of 2020.

Financing and liquidity

The financing of the Group is managed by a central treasury department.

The Board's treasury policies are in place to maintain a strong capital base and manage the Group's balance sheet to ensure long-term financial stability. They are the basis for investor, creditor and market confidence and enable the successful future development of the business.

The Board has approved a financial leverage policy for the Group. In the ordinary course, the Board prefers to see the Group's ratio of Net Debt including lease liabilities:Adjusted EBITDA to be well under 1.5 times at each half-year and year-end reporting date. In exceptional circumstances, it will be prepared to see leverage above that level for a short period of time.

We are pleased that S&P Global announced that they had assigned to the Group an 'A' grade long-term issuer credit rating, with a stable outlook, which reflected the strength of each of the Group's businesses, their diversity, and ABF's strong credit metrics underpinned by a conservative financial policy.

At the year end, the Group had total committed borrowing facilities amounting to GBP1.5bn, comprising GBP1.1bn provided under the RCF, GBP0.3bn of US private placement notes, maturing between 2021 and 2024, and GBP0.1bn of local committed facilities in Africa. At the year end, GBP0.3bn was drawn down under the private placement notes and local committed facilities. The Group also had access to GBP0.5bn of uncommitted credit lines under which GBP0.1bn was drawn at the year end.

Cash and cash equivalents totalled GBP2.3bn at the year end, of which centrally available cash on hand was GBP1.9bn.

The Group holds substantial net cash bank balances, which reduce its net debt, which include lease liabilities, and most importantly ensure that it has sufficient liquidity to meet unforeseen requirements.

Pensions

The Group's defined benefit pension schemes were in surplus by GBP493m at the year end compared with a deficit last year of GBP66m. The UK scheme, which accounts for 91% of the Group's gross pension assets, was in surplus by GBP633m (2020 - GBP94m). The increase in the UK pension surplus was driven by large asset gains on the pension assets, whereas the defined benefit obligations increased marginally driven by adverse changes in inflation assumptions. The pension surplus for the Group will result in an increased interest income compared to last year, and this will be reported in other financial income.

The last triennial valuation of the UK scheme was undertaken at 5 April 2020 which determined a deficit of GBP302m. This valuation was performed just after the first COVID-19 measures were introduced. Although we were required to agree a recovery plan with the trustees, in the light of the subsequent asset performance, we do not currently expect to make any payments.

The charge for the year for the Group's defined contribution schemes, which was equal to the contributions made, amounted to GBP81m (2020 - GBP79m). This compared with the cash contribution to the defined benefit schemes of GBP42m (2020 - GBP37m).

New accounting policies

The following accounting standards and amendments were adopted during the year and had no significant impact on the Group:

- Amendments to IFRS 3 Definition of a Business;

- Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8 Definition of Material;

- Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39, IFRS 7, IFRS 4 and IFRS 16 Interest Rate Benchmark Reform - Phase 1; and

- Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards.

John Bason

Finance Director

 
The annual report and accounts is available at www.abf.co.uk and will 
 be despatched to shareholders on 11 November 2021. The annual general 
 meeting will be held at 11am on Friday, 10 December 2021. Further 
 details are provided in the Notice of Annual General Meeting, although 
 please also monitor the AGM 2021 page of the Company's website (www.abf.co.uk/agm 
 ) for any updates. 
 

Principal risks and uncertainties

Managing our risks

Our approach to risk management

The delivery of our strategic objectives and the sustainable growth (or long-term shareholder value) of our business, is dependent on effective risk management. We regularly face business uncertainties and it is through a structured approach to risk management that we are able to mitigate and manage these risks and embrace opportunities when they arise. These disciplines remain effective as we continue to navigate our way through the ongoing challenges resulting from COVID-19 and the changing risk landscape as the world starts to emerge from the pandemic.

The diversified nature of our operations, geographical reach, assets and currencies are important factors in mitigating the risk of a material threat to the Group's sustainable growth and long-term shareholder value. However, as with any business, risks and uncertainties are inherent in our business activities. These risks may have a financial, operational or reputational impact.

The Board is accountable for effective risk management, for agreeing the principal, including emerging, risks facing the Group and ensuring they are successfully managed. The Board undertakes a robust annual assessment of the principal risks, including emerging risks, that would threaten the business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. The Board also monitors the Group's exposure to risks as part of the performance reviews conducted at each Board meeting. Financial risks are specifically reviewed by the Audit Committee.

Our decentralised business model empowers the management of our businesses to identify, evaluate and manage the risks they face, on a timely basis, to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, our business principles and Group policies.

Our businesses perform risk assessments which consider materiality, risk controls and specific local risks relevant to the markets in which they operate. The collated risks from each business are shared with the respective divisional chief executives who present their divisional risks to the Group Executive.

Emerging risks are identified and considered at both a Group and individual business level, with key management being close to their geographies. These risks are identified, as part of the overall risk management process, through a variety of horizon-scanning methods including geopolitical insights; ongoing assessment of competitor activity and market factors; workshops and management meetings focused on risk identification; analysis of existing risks using industry knowledge and experience to understand how these risks may affect us in the future; and representation and participation in key industry associations.

The Group's Director of Financial Control receives the risk assessments on an annual basis and, with the Finance Director, reviews and challenges them with the divisional chief executives, on an individual basis.

These discussions are wide-ranging and consider operational, environmental and other external risks. These risks and their impact on business performance are reported during the year and are considered as part of the monthly management review process.

Group functional heads including Legal, Treasury, Tax, IT, Pensions, HR, Procurement and Insurance also provide input to this process, sharing with the Director of Financial Control their view of key risks and what activities are in place or planned to mitigate them. A combination of these perspectives with the business risk assessments creates a consolidated view of the Group's risk profile. A summary of these risk assessments is then shared and discussed with the Finance Director and Chief Executive at least annually.

The Director of Financial Control holds meetings with each of the non-executive directors seeking their feedback on the reviews performed and discussing the key risks, which include emerging risks, and mitigating activities identified through the risk assessment exercise. Once all non-executive directors have been consulted, a Board report is prepared summarising the full process and providing an assessment of the status of risk management across the Group. The key risks, mitigating controls and relevant policies are summarised and the Board confirms the Group's principal risks. These are the risks which could prevent Associated British Foods from delivering its strategic objectives. This report also details when formal updates relating to the key risks will be provided to the Board throughout the year.

Key areas of focus this year

Effective risk management processes and internal controls

We continued to seek improvements in our risk management processes to ensure the quality and integrity of information and the ability to respond swiftly to direct risks. During the year, the Audit Committee on behalf of the Board conducted reviews on the effectiveness of the Group's risk management processes and internal controls in accordance with the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code. Our approach to risk management and systems of internal control is in line with the recommendations in the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC) revised guidance 'Risk management, internal control and related financial and business reporting' (the Risk Guidance).

The Board is satisfied that internal controls were properly maintained and that key and emerging risks are being appropriately identified and managed.

COVID-19

Effective communication both within our businesses and across the Group has ensured that our food businesses continued to operate, providing safe, nutritious and affordable food to customers. Primark's leadership demonstrated agility in responding to store activities being restricted at short notice. In addition, its effective planning ensured that the UK stores were well prepared for a safe reopening from 12 April.

COVID-19 has resulted in increased volatility and uncertainty in almost all of our markets, particularly the UK, Europe and the US, where there is a high risk of inflation impacting on energy, commodities and wages. During the year, changes in public health measures in our major markets to control the spread of COVID-19, and the Delta variant in particular, have impacted both our customers and employees. Whilst the UK now has an advanced vaccination programme and the majority of COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, the outlook is currently more mixed in a number of countries in which we operate. For example, there continue to be ongoing lockdowns in place across Australia and New Zealand. In addition, our retail business continues to adapt to localised restrictions and special arrangements for shoppers in some of our markets, for example in Portugal and Slovenia.

As the world starts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are continuing impacts our consumers, customers, retailers, suppliers and our employees. Across a number of our businesses, there is the risk of increased pressure on the supply chains resulting from labour shortages as economies reopen which are exacerbated by employee health and safety concerns. The closure of the Suez Canal in March compounded some supply chain challenges that resulted from the pandemic and increased buying as economies have reopened. We have contracts in place for major parts of our business to ensure that we have the cost, stability and interim security of volumes in the volatile inbound market. Our businesses are reliant on the availability of skilled HGV drivers. Whilst there is currently a shortage of drivers in other parts of Europe, the USA and Australia, the situation has been exacerbated in the UK as a result of the EU exit. We continue to work closely with our major carriers and logistics partners to minimise supply chain disruption. The situation remains fluid and is being closely managed and monitored.

Throughout the pandemic, the Audit Committee, on behalf of the Board has provided ongoing support and challenge to management's processes and internal controls. Numerous lessons have been learnt and we have developed a flexible set of possible responses that are ready to be deployed in the event of further restrictions being imposed, whether that be locally, regionally or globally.

EU exit

Our businesses were well prepared for the end of the Brexit transition period and we have seen no material disruption to our supply chains. We have experienced a small increase in the administrative costs of trading and in limited cases duties related to our trading with the EU.

Regulatory changes

Our businesses are facing a large number of regulatory changes over the coming years with new requirements being developed in a number of areas including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), extended producer responsibility regarding packaging and plastics and the potential requirements resulting from the BEIS White Paper: Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance. For each of these areas, groupwide initiatives are well advanced to meet the specific requirements. The extent of change will have an impact on the capacity of management at the time when they are dealing with the ongoing challenges resulting from COVID-19, alongside the day-to-day growth of our businesses.

Environment

ABF has a clear sense of social purpose: it exists to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food, and clothing that is great value for money, to hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. ABF is set on a mission: to continue to make food and clothes available and affordable and also carbon neutral as quickly as we can. The people in our businesses are motivated by the excitement that comes from driving social and environmental improvement. ESG isn't simply a matter of risk mitigation. ESG factors, including the potential implications of climate change, are considered as part of our well-established risk management framework and they also frame opportunities for our businesses to become better. Our leaders are empowered to include the prioritisation of mitigation of environmental impacts as a central aspect of their business plans, sharing learnings from other ABF businesses and applying industry best practice. The Board reviews each business segment in depth every year, and ESG factors are central to the analysis and discussion.

Our culture and values, and particularly our devolved decision-making model, empowers the people closest to risks to make the right judgements to mitigate risks. In respect of ESG, each of our businesses has prioritised and is devoting most resources to those ESG factors which are of greatest relevance and will make the greatest long-term difference. They are also challenged by the centre through detailed reviews of the Group's environmental performance, health and safety performance, and its diversity, equity and inclusion and workforce engagement programmes.

Our principal risks and uncertainties

The directors have carried out an assessment of the principal risks facing Associated British Foods, including emerging risks, that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. Outlined below are the Group's principal risks and uncertainties and the key mitigating activities in place to address them. These are the principal risks of the Group as a whole and are not in any order of priority.

Associated British Foods is exposed to a variety of other risks related to a range of issues such as human resources and talent, community relations, the regulatory environment and competition. These are managed as part of the risk process and a number of these are referred to in our 2021 Responsibility Update. Here, we report the principal risks which we believe are likely to have the greatest current or near-term impact on our strategic and operational plans and reputation.

They are grouped into external risks, which may occur in the markets or environment in which we operate, and operational risks, which are related to internal activity linked to our own operations and internal controls.

The 'Changes since 2020' describe our experience and activity over the last year.

 
External risks 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Movement in exchange 
 rates                                                                                                                                            -> 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Board-approved policies                                   Primark covers its 
 impact                                                             require businesses to                                    currency 
 Associated British Foods                                           hedge all transactional                                  exposure on purchases 
 is a multinational Group                                           currency exposures and                                   of 
 with operations and transactions                                   long-term supply or purchase                             merchandise denominated 
 in many currencies.                                                contracts which are denominated                          in foreign currencies 
 Changes in exchange rates                                          in a foreign currency,                                   at 
 give rise to transactional                                         using foreign exchange                                   the time of placing 
 exposures within the                                               forward contracts.                                       orders, 
 businesses and to translation                                      Cash balances and borrowings                             with an average tenor 
 exposures when the assets,                                         are largely maintained                                   of 
 liabilities and results                                            in the functional currency                               Primark's hedging 
 of overseas entities                                               of the local operations.                                 activity 
 are translated into sterling                                       Cross-currency swaps                                     of between three and 
 upon consolidation.                                                are used to align borrowings                             four 
 Mitigation                                                         with the underlying currencies                           months. There was a 
 Our businesses constantly                                          of the Group's net assets                                positive 
 review their currency                                              (refer to note 26 to                                     transactional effect 
 exposures and their hedging                                        the financial statements                                 from 
 instruments and, where                                             for more information).                                   changes in the US 
 necessary, ensure appropriate                                      Changes since 2020                                       dollar 
 actions are taken to                                               Sterling strengthened                                    exchange rate on 
 manage the impact of                                               against most of our trading                              Primark's 
 currency movements.                                                currencies this year,                                    largely 
                                                                    resulting in a loss on                                   dollar-denominated 
                                                                    translation of GBP36m.                                   purchases for the year 
                                                                                                                             in aggregate. 
                                                                                                                             The strengthening of 
                                                                                                                             sterling 
                                                                                                                             against our major 
                                                                                                                             trading 
                                                                                                                             currencies during the 
                                                                                                                             financial 
                                                                                                                             year has largely been a 
                                                                                                                             result of better 
                                                                                                                             certainty 
                                                                                                                             with the EU exit 
                                                                                                                             completion 
                                                                                                                             at the end of 2020 and 
                                                                                                                             improved confidence as 
                                                                                                                             the UK's roadmap out of 
                                                                                                                             the COVID-19 lockdown 
                                                                                                                             was 
                                                                                                                             developed and 
                                                                                                                             restrictions 
                                                                                                                             subsequently eased. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Fluctuations in commodity and energy prices 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              The commercial implications                               new financial year. The 
 impact                                                             of commodity price movements                             price of corn oil, in 
 Changes in commodity                                               are continuously assessed                                particular, 
 and energy prices can                                              and, where appropriate,                                  has increased, 
 have a material impact                                             are reflected in the                                     impacting 
 on the Group's operating                                           pricing of our products.                                 profit margins in ACH. 
 results, asset values                                              Changes since 2020                                       Energy prices, 
 and cash flows.                                                    Commodity price inflation                                particularly 
 Mitigation                                                         has been a global factor                                 in the UK and Europe, 
 The Group purchases a                                              throughout the year.                                     have 
 wide range of commodities                                          A number of our food                                     recently increased 
 in the ordinary course                                             and agriculture businesses                               materially 
 of business.                                                       have seen increases in                                   as a result of 
 We constantly monitor                                              energy and agricultural                                  significant 
 the markets in which                                               commodity prices in the                                  market uncertainty. 
 we operate and manage                                              latter part of the financial                             Businesses continue to 
 certain of these exposures                                         year, with expectations                                  manage price risk under 
 with exchange traded                                               of further increases                                     their existing risk 
 contracts and hedging                                              in the                                                   management 
 instruments.                                                                                                                frameworks and, where 
                                                                                                                             appropriate, 
                                                                                                                             reflect this in pricing 
                                                                                                                             of products. 
                                                                                                                             Sugar prices in Europe 
                                                                                                                             and Africa have 
                                                                                                                             increased 
                                                                                                                             during the year, with a 
                                                                                                                             positive impact on 
                                                                                                                             profitability. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Operating in global markets 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Provision is made for                                     Changes since 2020 
 impact                                                             known issues based on                                    COVID-19 has resulted 
 Associated British Foods                                           management's interpretation                              in 
 operates in 53 countries                                           of country-specific tax                                  increased volatility 
 with sales and supply                                              law, EU cases and investigations                         and 
 chains in many more,                                               on tax rulings and their                                 uncertainty in a number 
 so we are exposed to                                               likely outcomes.                                         of our markets, 
 global market forces;                                              By their nature socio-political                          particularly 
 fluctuations in national                                           events are largely unpredictable.                        the UK, Europe and the 
 economies; societal unrest                                         Nonetheless our businesses                               US, where there is a 
 and geopolitical uncertainty;                                      have detailed contingency                                high 
 a range of consumer trends;                                        plans which include site-level                           risk of inflation 
 evolving legislation                                               emergency responses and                                  impacting 
 and changes made by our                                            improved security for                                    on energy, commodities 
 competitors.                                                       employees.                                               and wages. 
 Failure to recognise                                               We engage with governments,                              There is continued 
 and respond to any of                                              local regulators and                                     uncertainty 
 these factors could directly                                       community organisations                                  as a result of the 
 impact the profitability                                           to contribute to, and                                    COVID-19 
 of our operations.                                                 anticipate, important                                    pandemic. Authorities 
 Entering new markets                                               changes in public policy.                                continue 
 is a risk to any business.                                         We conduct rigorous due                                  to impose restrictions 
 Mitigation                                                         diligence when entering,                                 on both a regional and 
 Our approach to risk                                               or commencing business                                   local basis. 
 management incorporates                                            activities in, new markets.                              High inflation 
 potential short-term                                                                                                        continues 
 market volatility and                                                                                                       to be a challenge for 
 evaluates longer-term                                                                                                       our 
 socio-economic and political                                                                                                yeast and bakery 
 scenarios. The Group's                                                                                                      ingredients 
 financial control framework                                                                                                 business based in 
 and Board-adopted tax                                                                                                       Argentina. 
 and treasury policies                                                                                                       Fifteen new Primark 
 require all businesses                                                                                                      stores 
 to comply fully with                                                                                                        were opened in the year 
 relevant local laws.                                                                                                        including our first 
                                                                                                                             store 
                                                                                                                             in Czechia. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Health and nutrition 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Our brands develop partnerships                           Changes since 2020 
 impact                                                             with other organisations                                 Our Sugar and Grocery 
 Failure to adapt to changing                                       to promote healthy options,                              businesses 
 consumer health choices                                            for example, Ryvita has                                  have invested in 
 or to address nutrition                                            partnered with Cancer                                    communication 
 concerns in the formulation                                        Research UK on a campaign                                linked to nutrition and 
 of our products, related                                           to promote fibre consumption                             health during the year 
 to consumer preferences                                            in the UK.                                               to help consumers make 
 or government public                                               Before COVID-19, our                                     informed choices about 
 health policies, could                                             specialist sports-nutrition                              their diet. 
 result in a loss of consumer                                       brand HIGH5 typically                                    Notable examples 
 base and impact business                                           supported over 600 events                                include 
 performance.                                                       which promote exercise                                   the Ryvita 'Fibre Fit' 
 Mitigation                                                         across the UK each year,                                 campaign in the UK, 
 Consumer preferences                                               helping over 500,000                                     through 
 and market trends are                                              people improve their                                     which the business has 
 monitored continually.                                             fitness levels. These                                    continued to engage 
 Recipes are regularly                                              events are predominantly                                 over 
 reviewed and reformulated                                          promoted online, and                                     50,000 consumers in 
 to improve the nutritional                                         HIGH5 assists in this                                    relation 
 value of our products.                                             promotion by highlighting                                to the benefit of a 
 All of our grocery products                                        events on its website                                    high-fibre 
 are labelled with nutritional                                      and via social media                                     diet. 
 information.                                                       in conjunction with nutritional                          In addition, our Sugar 
 We actively consider                                               advice.                                                  business's campaign 
 consumer health in the                                             We invest in research                                    'Making 
 context of brand development                                       with experts to improve                                  Sense of Sugar' has 
 and merger and acquisition                                         our understanding of                                     continued 
 activity. For example,                                             the science and societal                                 to develop into a 
 the launch of the Twinings                                         trends.                                                  global 
 wellness range. Branded                                                                                                     platform. The aim is to 
 grocery acquisitions                                                                                                        provide factual 
 over the past decade                                                                                                        information 
 include Acetum, producers                                                                                                   based on robust science 
 of Balsamic Vinegar of                                                                                                      to help inform and 
 Modena, that is typically                                                                                                   educate 
 consumed as an accompaniment                                                                                                people about sugar and 
 to salads; and Dorset                                                                                                       the role it can play as 
 Cereals, producers of                                                                                                       part of a healthy 
 high-fibre breakfast                                                                                                        balanced 
 cereals made from whole                                                                                                     diet. 
 grains and dried fruits,                                                                                                    Our businesses continue 
 nuts and seeds.                                                                                                             to assess the 
                                                                                                                             nutritional 
                                                                                                                             content of their 
                                                                                                                             products 
                                                                                                                             on an ongoing basis; 
                                                                                                                             and 
                                                                                                                             engage with 
                                                                                                                             stakeholders, 
                                                                                                                             directly and through 
                                                                                                                             trade 
                                                                                                                             associations, in 
                                                                                                                             relation 
                                                                                                                             to nutrition science 
                                                                                                                             and 
                                                                                                                             changes to the 
                                                                                                                             regulatory 
                                                                                                                             and consumer operating 
                                                                                                                             environment. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
                    increased 
->                  unchanged 
                    decreased 
 
Operational risks 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Workplace health and 
 safety                                                                                                                                           -> 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Our Health and Safety                                     We are saddened to 
 impact                                                             Policy and Practices                                     report 
 Many of our operations,                                            are firmly embedded in                                   that in the year there 
 by their nature, have                                              each business, supporting                                were two work-related 
 the potential for loss                                             a strong ethos of workplace                              fatalities 
 of life or workplace                                               safety.                                                  in our southern Africa 
 injuries to employees,                                             We have a continuous                                     sugar operations. Our 
 contractors and visitors.                                          safety audit programme                                   businesses 
 We are saddened that                                               to verify implementation                                 have conducted thorough 
 since the start of the                                             of safety management                                     root cause analyses and 
 pandemic in March 2020,                                            and support a culture                                    have implemented safety 
 we have lost 43 colleagues                                         of continuous improvement.                               changes. 
 to COVID-19. We deeply                                             Best practice safety                                     This year over GBP39m 
 mourn their passing and                                            and occupational health                                  was 
 our hearts go out to                                               guidance is shared across                                invested in reducing 
 their families and colleagues.                                     the businesses, co-ordinated                             the 
 Mitigation                                                         from the corporate centre,                               safety and health risks 
 Safety continues to be                                             to supplement the delivery                               across a wide range of 
 one of our main priorities.                                        of their own programmes.                                 operational hazards. As 
 The chief executives                                               Changes since 2020                                       part of this we 
 of each business, who                                              The safety performance                                   invested 
 lead by example, are                                               of the Group is reported                                 GBP9.3m dedicated to 
 accountable for the safety                                         in the 2021 Responsibility                               COVID-19 
 performance of their                                               Update at www.abf.co.uk/responsibility.                  safety measures for 
 business.                                                                                                                   employees, 
                                                                                                                             customers and other 
                                                                                                                             visitors 
                                                                                                                             to our stores and 
                                                                                                                             manufacturing 
                                                                                                                             sites. A Group-level 
                                                                                                                             steering 
                                                                                                                             committee has shared 
                                                                                                                             best 
                                                                                                                             practice for minimising 
                                                                                                                             the risk of infection 
                                                                                                                             across 
                                                                                                                             all of our businesses. 
                                                                                                                             In Illovo, we launched 
                                                                                                                             a Group Vaccination 
                                                                                                                             Roll-out 
                                                                                                                             Campaign which has seen 
                                                                                                                             almost 20,000 
                                                                                                                             employees, 
                                                                                                                             dependants, growers and 
                                                                                                                             community members 
                                                                                                                             vaccinated 
                                                                                                                             against COVID-19 to 
                                                                                                                             date. 
                                                                                                                             We plan to continue the 
                                                                                                                             campaign in the coming 
                                                                                                                             months to reach many 
                                                                                                                             more. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Product safety and quality                                                                                                                        -> 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Food quality and safety                                   All Primark's products 
 impact                                                             audits are conducted                                     are tested to, and must 
 As a leading food manufacturer                                     across all our manufacturing                             meet, stringent product 
 and retailer, it is vital                                          sites, by independent                                    safety specifications 
 that we manage the safety                                          third parties and customers,                             in 
 and quality of our products                                        and a due diligence programme                            line with and in some 
 throughout the supply                                              is in place to ensure                                    instances 
 chain.                                                             the safety of our retail                                 above legal 
 Mitigation                                                         products.                                                requirements. 
 Product safety is put                                              Our sites comply with                                    Primark continues to 
 before economic considerations.                                    international food safety                                drive 
 We operate strict food                                             and quality management                                   and improve product 
 safety and traceability                                            standards and our businesses                             performance 
 policies within an organisational                                  conduct regular mock                                     for quality and 
 culture of hygiene and                                             product incident exercises.                              compliance 
 product safety to ensure                                           All businesses set clear                                 purposes through its 
 consistently high standards                                        expectations of suppliers,                               product 
 in our operations and                                              with relevant third-party                                approval processes, in 
 in the sourcing and handling                                       certification or other                                   country inspections 
 of raw materials and                                               assessment a condition                                   centres 
 garments.                                                          of doing business. Product                               and management of its 
                                                                    testing and trials are                                   supply 
                                                                    undertaken as required                                   base. 
                                                                    and where bespoke raw                                    Changes since 2020 
                                                                    materials are purchased,                                 We did not have any 
                                                                    the businesses will work                                 major 
                                                                    closely with the supplier                                product recalls. 
                                                                    to ensure quality parameters                             Businesses have 
                                                                    are suitably specified                                   continued 
                                                                    and understood.                                          to define and refine 
                                                                                                                             KPIs 
                                                                                                                             in this area. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Breaches of IT and information security                                                                                                           -> 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Robust disaster recovery                                  The extent of remote 
 impact                                                             plans are in place for                                   working 
 To meet customer, consumer                                         business-critical applications                           has increased the risk 
 and supplier needs, our                                            and are adequately tested.                               of users falling victim 
 IT infrastructure needs                                            Technical security controls                              to phishing attacks 
 to be flexible, reliable                                           are in place over key                                    because 
 and secure to allow us                                             IT platforms with the                                    users rely primarily on 
 to interact through technology.                                    Chief Information Security                               email communication. We 
 Our delivery of efficient                                          Officer (CISO) tasked                                    have an ongoing 
 and effective operations                                           with identifying and                                     phishing 
 is enhanced by the use                                             responding to potential                                  testing regime and 
 of relevant technologies                                           security risks.                                          there 
 and the sharing of information.                                    Changes since 2020                                       is regular 
 We are therefore subject                                           As the number of employees                               communication 
 to potential cyber-threats                                         working at home as a                                     with all users to 
 such as computer viruses                                           result of COVID-19 restrictions                          remind 
 and the loss or theft                                              remains high, the impact                                 them of the risks. We 
 of data.                                                           on the delivery of IT                                    have 
 There is the potential                                             services and the need                                    raised the level of 
 for disruption to operations                                       for increased information                                monitoring 
 from data centre failures,                                         security has been enveloped                              for phishing attempts 
 IT malfunctions or external                                        into our daily practices.                                and 
 cyber-attacks.                                                     There is an ongoing programme                            other security threats. 
 Mitigation                                                         of investment in both                                    In addition, we have 
 In parallel to building                                            technology and people                                    issued 
 IT roadmaps and developing                                         to enhance the longevity                                 security awareness 
 our technology systems,                                            of our IT environments                                   advice 
 we invest in developing                                            for both on-site and                                     on secure homeworking 
 the IT skills and capabilities                                     remote working.                                          best 
 of our people across                                               To maintain the support                                  practices. 
 our businesses.                                                    for seamless homeworking                                 As cybersecurity risks 
 We continue to actively                                            we continue to modify                                    evolve, we continue to 
 monitor and mitigate                                               our IT infrastructure,                                   invest in our security 
 any cyber-threats and                                              manage bandwidth with                                    capabilities at a Group 
 suspicious IT activity.                                            our telecommunications                                   level and across the 
 We have established Group                                          partners and improve                                     businesses 
 IT security policies,                                              our collaboration tools.                                 allowing us to more 
 technologies and processes,                                                                                                 effectively 
 all of which are subject                                                                                                    detect, respond and 
 to regular internal audit.                                                                                                  recover 
 Access to sensitive data                                                                                                    from disruptive 
 is restricted and closely                                                                                                   cyber-threats. 
 monitored.                                                                                                                  We have improved and 
                                                                                                                             developed 
                                                                                                                             the existing 
                                                                                                                             disciplines 
                                                                                                                             to ensure that user 
                                                                                                                             devices 
                                                                                                                             are regularly patched 
                                                                                                                             and 
                                                                                                                             upgraded to reflect 
                                                                                                                             changing 
                                                                                                                             IT security threats. 
                                                                                                                             Revised 
                                                                                                                             guidance for laptop and 
                                                                                                                             desktop patching has 
                                                                                                                             been 
                                                                                                                             issued to all 
                                                                                                                             businesses 
                                                                                                                             to ensure that systems 
                                                                                                                             are up to date and 
                                                                                                                             secure. 
                                                                                                                             During the year we have 
                                                                                                                             reviewed and tested IT 
                                                                                                                             disaster recovery plans 
                                                                                                                             across the businesses. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Our use of natural resources and managing our 
 environmental impact 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              TCFD compliance. We have                                  This year, we also 
 impact                                                             engaged external experts                                 performed 
 Our businesses and their                                           to support our TCFD implementation                       a high-level exercise 
 supply chains rely on                                              and established a steering                               to 
 a secure supply of finite                                          committee to oversee                                     establish an overview 
 natural resources, some                                            its governance, which                                    of 
 of which are vulnerable                                            reports to the Audit                                     our Scope 3 emissions. 
 to external factors such                                           Committee. The steering                                  These same three 
 as natural disasters                                               committee comprises senior                               businesses 
 and climate change and                                             functional leaders from                                  comprised a significant 
 others are vulnerable                                              Corporate Social Responsibility,                         proportion of those 
 based on the operational                                           Environment, Finance,                                    emissions. 
 choices we take. Our                                               Risk Management, Corporate                               We continued to focus 
 material environmental                                             Affairs and HR, together                                 on 
 impacts come from fuel                                             with senior representation                               improving our energy 
 use, energy use and agricultural                                   from AB Sugar and Primark.                               efficiency 
 operations giving rise                                             Our packaging and product                                and optimising the use 
 to greenhouse gas emissions,                                       design teams are working                                 of renewable energy 
 use of land related to                                             together to address the                                  sources 
 agricultural operations,                                           use of single-use plastics                               with 54% of energy used 
 the abstraction and management                                     and scale up innovative                                  this year coming from 
 of water in water-stressed                                         solutions to the environmental                           renewables, 
 areas and waste which                                              impacts of single-use                                    mainly from a 
 is not yet eliminated                                              plastic.                                                 biomass-based 
 at source, reused or                                               Our businesses aim to                                    fuel. 
 recycled including single-use                                      be a good neighbour within                               This year 79% of the 
 plastics.                                                          their local communities.                                 waste 
 Our businesses and supply                                          Aspects of this include                                  materials generated by 
 chains operate in many                                             the monitoring and management                            our businesses' 
 areas subject to climate                                           of noise, particle and                                   operations 
 change risks and opportunities                                     odour pollution and community                            was sent for recycling, 
 as we transition to a                                              engagement. Where possible,                              recovery or other 
 lower-carbon world. Our                                            our businesses implement                                 beneficial 
 ongoing success depends                                            circular economy principles                              uses. 
 on mitigating these risks                                          to use more from less                                    Twinings in the UK is a 
 and making the most of                                             and continuously seek                                    carbon neutral business 
 the opportunities. In                                              ways to recycle or reuse                                 thanks to energy 
 our assessment of climate-related                                  all waste materials.                                     efficiency 
 business risks, we recognise                                       AB Sugar and AB Agri                                     projects and the 
 that the cumulative impacts                                        have set commitments                                     greater 
 of changes in weather                                              for their own operations                                 use of renewable 
 and water availability                                             and supply chain to improve                              energy. 
 could affect our operations                                        sustainability performance.                              GWF achieved its GHG 
 at a Group level. The                                              Primark is committed                                     and 
 diversified and decentralised                                      to the Textiles 2030                                     water reduction targets 
 nature of Associated                                               Initiative, to accelerate                                of 20% reduction by 
 British Foods means that                                           the whole fashion and                                    2020, 
 mitigation or adaptation                                           textiles industry's move                                 against a 2010 baseline 
 strategies are considered                                          towards circularity and                                  as set by the 
 and implemented by individual                                      system change in the                                     Australian 
 businesses and divisions.                                          UK.                                                      Food & Grocery Council. 
 Our operations generate                                            Through Primark's Sustainable                            As a Group we continue 
 a range of emissions                                               Cotton Programme we have                                 to develop our 
 such as dust, wastewater                                           committed to train 160,000                               single-use 
 and waste which, if not                                            farmers in more sustainable                              plastic packaging 
 controlled, could pose                                             farming methods by 2022.                                 solutions 
 a risk to the environment                                          This is a significant                                    to align with future 
 and local communities,                                             commitment towards helping                               environmental 
 potentially creating                                               Primark fulfil our long-term                             packaging legislation 
 risk to our licence to                                             ambition of ensuring                                     in 
 operate and resulting                                              all the cotton used in                                   local geographies 
 in additional costs.                                               our supply chain is sustainably                          whilst 
 Mitigation                                                         sourced.                                                 balancing the needs to 
 We continuously seek                                               Changes since 2020                                       minimise food waste and 
 ways to improve the efficiency                                     The environmental performance                            carbon emissions with 
 of our operations, using                                           of the Group is reported                                 food 
 technologies and techniques                                        in the 2021 Responsibility                               safety and integrity at 
 to reduce our use of                                               Update at www.abf.co.uk/responsibility.                  the core. Our UK 
 natural resources and                                              This year, we began engaging                             grocery 
 subsequent impact on                                               formally with each business                              business is a signatory 
 the environment.                                                   in respect of TCFD, building                             to the Courtauld 
 Climate change, with                                               on existing awareness                                    Commitment 
 its associated risks                                               of climate change issues.                                2025 as well as the UK 
 and opportunities, is                                              This will continue in                                    Plastics PACT, a 
 not a new issue. It has                                            the coming year until                                    collaborative 
 long been important to                                             full reporting under                                     initiative delivered by 
 us and our stakeholders.                                           TCFD begins for ABF in                                   WRAP, that will create 
 We have considered some                                            2022 and thereafter on                                   a circular economy for 
 of these issues for many                                           an ongoing basis. We                                     plastics. 
 years as part of normal                                            are currently reviewing                                  GWF is a member of the 
 commercial decision-making,                                        the governance of climate-related                        Australian Packaging 
 for example Primark's                                              risks and opportunities                                  Covenant 
 longstanding Sustainable                                           to ensure the Board is                                   Organisation (APCO) and 
 Cotton Programme, and                                              enabled to fully consider                                has committed that by 
 the assessment of drought                                          these while setting our                                  2025 
 risk to the wheat supply                                           strategy and overseeing                                  its packaging will be 
 in our Australian bakery                                           major decisions.                                         designed 
 business, long standing                                            To better understand                                     to be 100% recyclable, 
 progress in reducing                                               how the potential long-term                              reusable or compostable 
 energy use in sugar refining.                                      impacts of climate change                                to help 
 It is not a separate                                               might affect our businesses,                             "close-the-loop". 
 and parallel discipline;                                           our performance and our                                  Primark launched the 
 it is already part of                                              balance sheet, this year                                 Primark 
 the ordinary course of                                             we began scenario analysis.                              Cares sustainability 
 business and we are working                                        Our overall focus is                                     strategy 
 to understand and improve                                          on the specific businesses                               focused on People, 
 this further.                                                      and raw materials with                                   Planet 
 The Board receives a                                               the greatest identified                                  and Product with 
 formal update from the                                             climate risk exposure,                                   targets 
 Group Corporate Responsibility                                     and those that offer                                     of halving its carbon 
 Director, the Chief People                                         the greatest transition                                  footprint 
 and Performance Officer                                            opportunities. We identified                             across our entire 
 and the Group Safety                                               Primark, AB Sugar and                                    Primark 
 and Environment Manager                                            Twinings as the businesses                               value chain by 2030 and 
 on environmental issues                                            with the most material                                   changing the way we 
 annually including on                                              climate-related risks                                    make 
 GHG emissions and carbon                                           and opportunities. In                                    clothes to ensure they 
 management. In addition,                                           2020, these three businesses                             are recyclable by 
 environmental issues                                               comprise in aggregate                                    design 
 are addressed as part                                              73% of adjusted operating                                by 2027 and, by 2030, 
 of both specific and                                               profit, 69% of Scope                                     made 
 routine Board agenda                                               1 and 2 emissions and                                    from recycled fibres or 
 items. As an example,                                              97% of water usage.                                      more sustainably 
 Primark reported to the                                                                                                     sourced 
 Board in June 2021 on                                                                                                       materials. 
 its carbon reduction                                                                                                        Additionally, 
 footprint.                                                                                                                  we will eliminate 
 The Audit Committee and                                                                                                     single-use 
 the Board have received                                                                                                     plastics and all 
 specific briefings on                                                                                                       non-clothing 
 climate change matters                                                                                                      waste by 2027 and 
 and on our approach to                                                                                                      already 
 achieving                                                                                                                   work with cotton 
                                                                                                                             farmers 
                                                                                                                             to deliver better soil 
                                                                                                                             health, biodiversity 
                                                                                                                             and 
                                                                                                                             water quality in the 
                                                                                                                             regions 
                                                                                                                             where our cotton is 
                                                                                                                             grown. 
                                                                                                                             We report our approach 
                                                                                                                             to climate change, 
                                                                                                                             water 
                                                                                                                             and deforestation risk 
                                                                                                                             on an annual basis via 
                                                                                                                             CDP at www.cdp.net. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Our supply chain and ethical business practices                                                                                                   -> 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
Context and potential                                              Primark has strengthened                                  Changes since 2020 
 impact                                                            our policies around modern                                Our Modern Slavery and 
 As an international business                                      slavery and published                                     Human Trafficking 
 we understand that we                                             a revised Supplier Code                                   Statement 
 have both a role to play                                          of Conduct. This is a                                     2021, together with the 
 in delivering on the                                              combination of the ABF                                    steps we take to try to 
 UN sustainable agenda                                             Group Code of Conduct                                     ensure that any forms 
 and also that we are                                              and the Base Code of                                      of 
 expected to abide by                                              the Ethical Trading Initiative,                           modern slavery are not 
 internationally agreed                                            of which Primark is a                                     present within our own 
 rules of business conduct.                                        member. Our new Code                                      operations or supply 
 Doing so means we are                                             is tailored specifically                                  chain, 
 managing risks to our                                             to some of the risks                                      are reported in detail 
 business and to all those                                         Primark perceives in                                      in the 2021 
 involved in our supply                                            our supply chains. We                                     Responsibility 
 chains, and so we expect                                          are internationally recognised                            Update at 
 that our supply chain                                             for our ethical trade                                     www.abf.co.uk/responsib 
 partners will work within                                         programme. More information                               ility. 
 the same framework as                                             is available at https://corporate.primark.com/en.         In June 2021, the UK 
 us. We work with our                                              Twinings uses a comprehensive                             Government's 
 supply chain partners                                             Community Needs Assessment                                Business Against 
 to help them meet our                                             Framework, which has                                      Slavery 
 standards of acceptable                                           been developed in consultation                            Forum coalition hosted 
 working conditions, financial                                     with expert organisations                                 a Ministerial Forum at 
 stability, ethics and                                             to help understand what                                   which the chief 
 technical competence.                                             supply chain communities                                  executives 
 Potential supply chain                                            really need. In addition                                  of member companies 
 and ethical business                                              to human and labour rights,                               discussed 
 practice risks include:                                           it covers housing, water                                  relevant issues with 
  *    the vulnerability of workers in our supply chains and       and sanitation, health                                    ministers. 
       the amplification of this as a result of the ongoing        and nutrition, gender                                     Our Chief Executive, 
       impacts of COVID-19;                                        and children's rights,                                    George 
                                                                   land rights, farming                                      Weston, attended this 
                                                                   practices and more.                                       event 
  *    inconsistent adoption of a rigorous human rights due        Primark, Twinings and                                     and contributed to 
       diligence approach across the Group; and low                AB Sugar have all produced                                discussions 
       transparency of Group human rights impact.                  interactive sourcing                                      on several themes, 
                                                                   maps to better understand                                 including 
                                                                   and address the challenges                                the UK Government's 
 Mitigation                                                        in their supply chain                                     forthcoming 
 Our businesses ask their                                          operations.                                               Modern Slavery Strategy 
 suppliers to work in                                              Primark's map shows suppliers'                            Review, the challenges 
 line with recognised                                              production sites covering                                 involved in modern 
 standards, including                                              95% of Primark products                                   slavery 
 the UN Guiding Principles                                         for sale in stores:                                       due diligence and how 
 on Business and Human                                             https://corporate.primark.com/en/our-approach/our-stan    to 
 Rights, International                                             dards/global-sourcing-map.                                harness the power of 
 Labour Organization's                                             Twinings' map outlines                                    transparency 
 Declaration on Fundamental                                        where we source tea and                                   and other levers for 
 Principles and Rights                                             ingredients:                                              positive 
 at work and our Supplier                                          https://www.sourcedwithcare.com/en/our-approach/sourci    change. 
 Code of Conduct. This                                             ng-map.                                                   AB Agri's Human Rights 
 code, which incorporates                                          AB Sugar's map outlines                                   Policy addresses modern 
 the Ethical Trading Initiative                                    where we grow, source                                     slavery and other 
 Base Code, underpins                                              and export sugar: www.absugar.com/sourcing-map.           issues 
 any relevant policies                                                                                                       in line with the 
 or standards the businesses                                                                                                 Universal 
 set themselves. We have                                                                                                     Declaration of Human 
 developed a groupwide                                                                                                       Rights. 
 online training module                                                                                                      AB Sugar have further 
 about modern slavery                                                                                                        developed 
 to help accelerate awareness-raising                                                                                        their modern slavery 
 and give businesses the                                                                                                     policy 
 tools to train people.                                                                                                      and created their 'We 
                                                                                                                             Listen, 
                                                                                                                             We Act, We Remedy' 
                                                                                                                             toolkit. 
                                                                                                                             Primark has reviewed 
                                                                                                                             and 
                                                                                                                             updated its Code of 
                                                                                                                             Conduct, 
                                                                                                                             strengthening the 
                                                                                                                             requirements 
                                                                                                                             that guard against 
                                                                                                                             forced 
                                                                                                                             labour and adding a new 
                                                                                                                             clause that requires 
                                                                                                                             all 
                                                                                                                             its suppliers to have 
                                                                                                                             effective 
                                                                                                                             grievance procedures 
                                                                                                                             for 
                                                                                                                             workers in place. 
                                                                                                                             Twinings published its 
                                                                                                                             Human Rights Policy in 
                                                                                                                             2021. 
                                                                                                                             Twinings set a target 
                                                                                                                             in 
                                                                                                                             2016 to positively 
                                                                                                                             impact 
                                                                                                                             500,000 people through 
                                                                                                                             Sourced with Care. The 
                                                                                                                             programme has now 
                                                                                                                             reached 
                                                                                                                             almost 544,000 people 
                                                                                                                             and 
                                                                                                                             delivered lasting 
                                                                                                                             change. 
---------------------------------------------------------------    ------------------------------------------------------    ----------------------- 
                      increased 
->                    unchanged 
                      decreased 
 
 

Viability statement

The directors have determined that the most appropriate period over which to assess the Company's viability, in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, is three years. This is consistent with the Group's business model which devolves operational decision making to the businesses. Each business sets a strategic planning time horizon appropriate to its activities and which are typically of three years duration. The directors also considered the diverse nature of the Group's activities and the degree to which the businesses change and evolve in the relatively short term.

The directors considered the Group's profitability, cash flows and key financial ratios over this period and the potential impact that the Principal Risks and Uncertainties set out on pages 16 to 22 could have on future performance, solvency or liquidity of the Group and its resilience to threats to its viability posed by severe but plausible scenarios. Sensitivity analysis was applied to these metrics and the projected cash flows were stress tested against a range of scenarios.

The directors considered the level of performance that would cause the Group to exhaust its available liquidity; to breach its debt covenants; the financial implications of making any strategic acquisitions and a variety of factors that have the potential to reduce profit substantially. We considered actions which could damage the Group's reputation for the long term, macro-economic influences such as fluctuations in commodity markets, and climate-related business risks. Specific consideration has been given to the potential ongoing risks associated with COVID-19. These risks include its impact on Primark's trading performance and to a lesser extent our ability to run our factories efficiently with the potential for disruption through shortage of labour or logistical issues caused by port constraints.

At the year end the Group had gross cash of GBP2,307m and GBP1,088m of undrawn committed Revolving Credit Facilities (RCF) which together provide some GBP3,395m of liquidity. In August 2020, a two-year extension to the Group's RCF was agreed with its relationship banks extending the maturity of the facility to July 2023. During the course of this assessment all of the GBP297m of outstanding private placement notes will mature and the RCF will require refinancing. It is the opinion of the board based on the credit rating and the strength of the balance sheet that this facility can be renewed, and that substantial further funding could be secured should the need arise. Events of COVID-19 and the last year show that there was a value in having sufficient financial resources and credit strength to manage the operational challenges faced across our businesses. ABF has sought an external validation of our credit strength and the A grade credit rating from S&P Global reflects this.

The diversity of the Group is such that we have some 60 different businesses operating in different markets, sectors, customers, geographies and products. The importance of food production has been highlighted by recent events and the resilience of the Group has been demonstrated by our ability to ensure the continuity of the food supply chain. While the principal risks considered all have the potential to affect future performance, none of them are considered individually or collectively likely to give rise to a deterioration in trading to a level that might threaten the viability of the Company for the period of the assessment.

The Group has a track record of delivering strong cash flows, with in excess of GBP1bn of operating cash being generated in each of the last ten years. This has been more than sufficient to meet not only our ongoing financing obligations but also to fund the Group's expansionary capital investment.

Even in a worst-case scenario, with risks modelled to materialise simultaneously and for a sustained period, the possibility of the Group having insufficient resources to meet its financial obligations is considered extremely remote. Based on this assessment, the directors confirm that they have a reasonable expectation that the Company will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the three-year period to 14 September 2024.

Going concern

After making enquiries, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the consolidated financial statements.

The forecast for the going concern assessment period to 28 February 2023 has been updated for the business's latest trading in October and is our best estimate of cashflow in the period. Having reviewed this forecast and having applied a downside sensitivity and performed a reverse stress test, we consider it a remote possibility that the financial headroom could be exhausted.

At the full year, the Group had net cash, before lease liabilities, of GBP1,901m and had an undrawn, committed RCF of GBP1,088m for the coming year. The directors have satisfied themselves that the RCF is available for at least the going concern assessment period, having assessed the Group's projected compliance with the remaining terms and covenants of these facilities. Events of COVID-19 and the last year show that there was a value in having sufficient financial resources and credit strength to manage the operational challenges faced across our businesses. ABF has sought an external validation of our credit strength and the A grade credit rating from S&P Global reflects this.

In August 2020, a two-year extension to the Group's RCF was agreed with its relationship banks, extending the maturity of the facility to July 2023. Whilst this maturity date is beyond the going concern assessment period, it is the opinion of the Board, based on the credit rating and the strength of the balance sheet, that this facility can be renewed, and that substantial further funding could be secured should the need arise.

In reviewing the cash flow forecast for the period, the directors reviewed the trading for both Primark and the non-Primark businesses in light of the experience gained from the last eighteen months of trading and emerging trading patterns. The directors have a thorough understanding of the risks, sensitivities and judgements included in these elements of the cash flow forecast and have a high degree of confidence in these cash flows.

The diversity of the Group is such that we have some 60 different businesses operating in different markets, sectors, customer groups, geographies and products. The importance of food production has been highlighted by recent events and the resilience of the Group has been demonstrated by our ability to ensure the continuity of the food supply chain. While the principal risks considered all have the potential to affect future performance, none of them are considered individually or collectively likely to give rise to a deterioration in trading to a level that might threaten the viability of the Company for the period of the assessment.

As a downside scenario, the directors considered the extreme adverse scenario in which half of the Primark estate was closed for six months including the forthcoming Christmas trading period, without taking any of the available cost mitigation actions within their control and assuming no available job retention scheme support. Under this downside scenario the Group has a forecast net cash position throughout the period and forecast compliance with the covenants in the debt facilities.

In addition, we also considered the circumstances which would be needed to exhaust the Group's cash resources over the assessment period - a reverse stress test. This would indicate that all Primark stores would need to remain completely closed for more than 12 months, including the peak Christmas sales period. The likelihood of these circumstances is considered remote for two reasons. Firstly, over such a long period, management could take substantial mitigating actions, such as cost cutting measures and reducing capital investment. Secondly, we have seen governments develop a number of measures to contain the virus, including widespread vaccination programmes, which make it likely that any future lockdowns would be regional.

Cautionary statements

This report contains forward-looking statements. These have been made by the directors in good faith based on the information available to them up to the time of their approval of this report. The directors can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. Due to the inherent uncertainties, including both economic and business risk factors, underlying such forward-looking information, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The directors undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Directors' responsibilities in respect of the financial statements

We confirm that to the best of our knowledge:

- the financial statements, prepared in accordance with the applicable set of accounting standards, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the Company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole; and

- the Strategic report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.

We consider the annual report and financial statements, taken as a whole, are fair, balanced and understandable and provide the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's position and performance, business model and strategy.

The contents of this announcement, including the responsibility statement above, have been extracted from the annual report and accounts for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021 which may be found at www.abf.co.uk and will be despatched to shareholders on 11 November 2021. Accordingly this responsibility statement makes reference to the financial statements of the Company and the group and to the relevant narrative appearing in that annual report and accounts rather than the contents of this announcement.

On behalf of the Board

 
Michael McLintock  George Weston    John Bason 
Chairman           Chief Executive  Finance Director 
 

9 November 2021

Consolidated income statement

for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021

 
                                                                    2021      2020 
 Continuing operations                                    note      GBPm      GBPm 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 Revenue                                                     1    13,884    13,937 
 Operating costs before exceptional items                       (13,008)  (13,046) 
 Exceptional items                                           2     (151)     (156) 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
                                                                     725       735 
 Share of profit after tax from joint ventures and 
  associates                                                          79        57 
 Profits less losses on disposal of non-current assets                 4        18 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 
 Operating profit                                                    808       810 
 
 
 Adjusted operating profit                                   1     1,011     1,024 
 Profits less losses on disposal of non-current assets                 4        18 
 Amortisation of non-operating intangibles                          (50)      (59) 
 Acquired inventory fair value adjustments                           (3)      (15) 
 Transaction costs                                                   (3)       (2) 
 Exceptional items                                           2     (151)     (156) 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 
 Profits less losses on sale and closure of businesses       7        20      (14) 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 Profit before interest                                              828       796 
 Finance income                                                        9        11 
 Finance expense                                             3     (111)     (124) 
 Other financial (expense)/income                                    (1)         3 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 Profit before taxation                                              725       686 
 
 Adjusted profit before taxation                                     908       914 
 Profits less losses on disposal of non-current assets                 4        18 
 Amortisation of non-operating intangibles                          (50)      (59) 
 Acquired inventory fair value adjustments                           (3)      (15) 
 Transaction costs                                                   (3)       (2) 
 Exceptional items                                           2     (151)     (156) 
 Profits less losses on sale and closure of businesses       7        20      (14) 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 
 Taxation - UK (excluding tax on exceptional items)                 (68)      (69) 
 
    *    UK (on exceptional items)                                     3         1 
 
    *    Overseas (excluding tax on exceptional items)             (196)     (189) 
 
    *    Overseas (on exceptional items)                              34        36 
  ======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
                                                             4     (227)     (221) 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 Profit for the period                                               498       465 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 
 Attributable to 
 Equity shareholders                                                 478       455 
 Non-controlling interests                                            20        10 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 Profit for the period                                               498       465 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 
 Basic and diluted earnings per ordinary share (pence)       6      60.5      57.6 
 Dividends per share paid and proposed for the period 
  (pence)                                                    5      26.7       nil 
 Special dividend per share proposed for the period 
  (pence)                                                    5      13.8       nil 
 =======================================================  ====  ========  ======== 
 

Consolidated statement of comprehensive income

for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021

 
                                                               2021   2020 
                                                               GBPm   GBPm 
============================================================  =====  ===== 
Profit for the period recognised in the income statement        498    465 
 
Other comprehensive income 
 
Remeasurements of defined benefit schemes                       559   (89) 
Deferred tax associated with defined benefit schemes          (144)     15 
============================================================ 
Items that will not be reclassified to profit or loss           415   (74) 
 
Effect of movements in foreign exchange                       (355)   (97) 
Net loss on hedge of net investment in foreign subsidiaries      14    (3) 
Deferred tax associated with movements in foreign exchange        -      1 
Reclassification adjustement for movements in foreign 
 exchange on subsidiaries disposed                              (6)      - 
Movement in cash flow hedging position                           39   (15) 
Deferred tax associated with movement in cash flow hedging 
 position                                                      (14)      - 
Share of other comprehensive income of joint ventures 
 and associates                                                (10)    (1) 
Effect of hyperinflationary economies                            18     17 
============================================================  =====  ===== 
Items that are or may be subsequently reclassified to 
 profit or loss                                               (314)   (98) 
 
Other comprehensive income/(loss) for the period                101  (172) 
============================================================  =====  ===== 
 
Total comprehensive income for the period                       599    293 
============================================================  =====  ===== 
 
Attributable to 
Equity shareholders                                             579    296 
Non-controlling interests                                        20    (3) 
============================================================  =====  ===== 
Total comprehensive income for the period                       599    293 
============================================================  =====  ===== 
 

Consolidated balance sheet

at 18 September 2021

 
                                                       2021     2020 
                                                       GBPm     GBPm 
=================================================   =======  ======= 
Non-current assets 
Intangible assets                                     1,581    1,629 
Property, plant and equipment                         5,286    5,651 
Right-of-use assets                                   2,649    2,990 
Investments in joint ventures                           278      233 
Investments in associates                                60       56 
Employee benefits assets                                640      100 
Income tax                                               23        - 
Deferred tax assets                                     218      212 
Other receivables                                        55       45 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total non-current assets                             10,790   10,916 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
 
Current assets 
Assets classified as held for sale                       13       43 
Inventories                                           2,151    2,150 
Biological assets                                        85       72 
Trade and other receivables                           1,367    1,328 
Derivative assets                                       124      102 
Current asset investments                                32       32 
Income tax                                               58       30 
Cash and cash equivalents                             2,275    1,996 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total current assets                                  6,105    5,753 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total assets                                         16,895   16,669 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
 
Current liabilities 
Liabilities classified as held for sale                   -      (5) 
Lease liabilities                                     (289)    (297) 
Loans and overdrafts                                  (330)    (154) 
Trade and other payables                            (2,386)  (2,316) 
Derivative liabilities                                 (34)     (87) 
Income tax                                            (172)    (171) 
Provisions                                             (71)    (123) 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total current liabilities                           (3,282)  (3,153) 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
 
Non-current liabilities 
Lease liabilities                                   (2,992)  (3,342) 
Loans                                                  (76)    (318) 
Provisions                                             (31)     (41) 
Deferred tax liabilities                              (363)    (210) 
Employee benefits liabilities                         (147)    (166) 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total non-current liabilities                       (3,609)  (4,077) 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total liabilities                                   (6,891)  (7,230) 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Net assets                                           10,004    9,439 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
 
Equity 
Issued capital                                           45       45 
Other reserves                                          175      175 
Translation reserve                                    (34)      323 
Hedging reserve                                          43      (7) 
Retained earnings                                     9,692    8,819 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total equity attributable to equity shareholders      9,921    9,355 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Non-controlling interests                                83       84 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
Total equity                                         10,004    9,439 
==================================================  =======  ======= 
 

Consolidated cash flow statement

for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021

 
                                                                     2021   2020 
                                                                     GBPm   GBPm 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
Cash flow from operating activities 
Profit before taxation                                                725    686 
Profits less losses on disposal of non-current assets                 (4)   (18) 
Profits less losses on sale and closure of businesses                (20)     14 
Transaction costs                                                       3      2 
Finance income                                                        (9)   (11) 
Finance expense                                                       111    124 
Other financial expense/(income)                                        1    (3) 
Share of profit after tax from joint ventures and associates         (79)   (57) 
Amortisation                                                           74     89 
Depreciation (including depreciation of right-of-use 
 assets and non-cash lease adjustments)                               823    827 
Impairment of property, plant & equipment and right-of-use 
 assets                                                                 -     15 
Exceptional items                                                     151    156 
Acquired inventory fair value adjustments                               3     15 
Effect of hyperinflationary economies                                   7      5 
Net change in the fair value of current biological assets            (12)    (1) 
Share-based payment expense                                            17      8 
Pension costs less contributions                                        4     10 
(Increase)/decrease in inventories                                  (120)    199 
(Increase)/decrease in receivables                                   (98)     81 
Increase/(decrease) in payables                                       175  (174) 
Purchases less sales of current biological assets                     (1)    (1) 
(Decrease)/increase in provisions                                    (40)     41 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
Cash generated from operations                                      1,711  2,007 
Income taxes paid                                                   (298)  (254) 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
Net cash generated from operating activities                        1,413  1,753 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
 
Cash flow from investing activities 
Dividends received from joint ventures and associates                  63     43 
Purchase of property, plant and equipment                           (551)  (561) 
Purchase of intangibles                                              (76)   (61) 
Lease incentives received                                              10     35 
Sale of property, plant and equipment                                  21     30 
Purchase of subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates              (57)   (16) 
Sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates                    34      2 
Purchase of other investments                                        (14)    (1) 
Interest received                                                       9     11 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
Net cash used in investing activities                               (561)  (518) 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
 
Cash flow from financing activities 
Dividends paid to non-controlling interests                           (4)    (7) 
Dividends paid to equity shareholders                                (49)  (271) 
Interest paid                                                       (116)  (104) 
Repayment of lease liabilities                                      (290)  (247) 
Decrease in short-term loans                                         (10)   (43) 
Decrease in long-term loans                                          (18)    (2) 
Increase in current asset investments                                 (2)    (2) 
Purchase of shares in subsidiary undertaking from non-controlling 
 interests                                                           (23)    (2) 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
Net cash used in financing activities                               (512)  (678) 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
 
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents                             340    557 
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period            1,909  1,358 
Effect of movements in foreign exchange                              (60)    (6) 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period                  2,189  1,909 
==================================================================  =====  ===== 
 

Consolidated statement of changes in equity

for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021

 
                                               Attributable to equity shareholders 
                                  =============================================================  ============  ======= 
                                                                                                         Non- 
                                    Issued      Other  Translation   Hedging   Retained           controlling    Total 
                                   capital   reserves      reserve   reserve   earnings   Total     interests   equity 
                                      GBPm       GBPm         GBPm      GBPm       GBPm    GBPm          GBPm     GBPm 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Balance as at 14 September 2019         45        175          409       (9)      8,832   9,452            98    9,550 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
IFRS 16 opening balance 
 adjustment                              -          -            -         -      (149)   (149)           (1)    (150) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Balance as at 15 September 2019         45        175          409       (9)      8,683  9,.303            97    9,400 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total comprehensive income 
Profit for the period recognised 
 in the income statement                 -          -            -         -        455     455            10      465 
Remeasurements of defined 
 benefit 
 schemes                                 -          -            -         -       (89)    (89)             -     (89) 
Deferred tax associated with 
 defined 
 benefit schemes                         -          -            -         -         15      15             -       15 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Items that will not be 
 reclassified 
 to profit or loss                       -          -            -         -       (74)    (74)             -     (74) 
Effect of movements in foreign 
 exchange                                -          -         (83)       (1)          -    (84)          (13)     (97) 
Net loss on hedge of net 
 investment 
 in foreign subsidiaries                 -          -          (3)         -          -     (3)             -      (3) 
Deferred tax associated with 
 movements 
 in foreign exchange                     -          -            1         -          -       1             -        1 
Movement in cash flow hedging 
 position                                -          -            -      (15)          -    (15)             -     (15) 
Share of other comprehensive 
 income 
 of joint ventures and 
 associates                              -          -          (1)         -          -     (1)             -      (1) 
Effect of hyperinflationary 
 economies                               -          -            -         -         17      17             -       17 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Items that are or may be 
 subsequently 
 reclassified to profit or loss          -          -         (86)      (16)         17    (85)          (13)     (98) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Other comprehensive income               -          -         (86)      (16)       (57)   (159)          (13)    (172) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total comprehensive income               -          -         (86)      (16)        398     296           (3)      293 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
 
Inventory cash flow hedge 
movements 
Gains transferred to cost of 
 inventory                               -          -            -        18          -      18             -       18 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total inventory cash flow hedge 
 movements                               -          -            -        18          -      18             -       18 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
 
Transactions with owners 
Dividends paid to equity 
 shareholders                            -          -            -         -      (271)   (271)             -    (271) 
Net movement in own shares held          -          -            -         -          8       8             -        8 
Deferred tax associated with 
 share-based 
 payments                                -          -            -         -          1       1             -        1 
Dividends paid to 
 non-controlling 
 interests                               -          -            -         -          -       -           (8)      (8) 
Acquisition and disposal of 
 non-controlling 
 interests                               -          -            -         -          -       -           (2)      (2) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total transactions with owners           -          -            -         -      (262)   (262)          (10)    (272) 
Balance as at 12 September 2020         45        175          323       (7)      8,819   9,355            84    9,439 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
 
Total comprehensive income 
Profit for the period recognised 
 in the income statement                 -          -            -         -        478     478            20      498 
Remeasurements of defined 
 benefit 
 schemes                                 -          -            -         -        559     559             -      559 
Deferred tax associated with 
 defined 
 benefit schemes                         -          -            -         -      (144)   (144)             -    (144) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Items that will not be 
 reclassified 
 to profit or loss                       -          -            -         -        415     415             -      415 
Effect of movements in foreign 
 exchange                                -          -        (355)         -          -   (355)             -    (355) 
Net gain on hedge of net 
 investment 
 in foreign subsidiaries                 -          -           14         -          -      14             -       14 
Reclassification adjustment for 
 movements 
 in foreign exchange on 
 subsidiaries 
 disposed                                -          -          (6)         -          -     (6)             -      (6) 
Movement in cash flow hedging 
 position                                -          -            -        39          -      39             -       39 
Deferred tax associated with 
 movements 
 in cash flow hedging position           -          -            -      (14)          -    (14)             -     (14) 
Share of other comprehensive 
 income 
 of joint ventures and 
 associates                              -          -         (10)         -          -    (10)             -     (10) 
Effect of hyperinflationary 
 economies                               -          -            -         -         18      18             -       18 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Items that are or may be 
 subsequently 
 reclassified to profit or loss          -          -        (357)        25         18   (314)             -    (314) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Other comprehensive income               -          -        (357)        25        433     101             -      101 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total comprehensive income               -          -        (357)        25        911     579            20      599 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
 
Inventory cash flow hedge 
movements 
Gains transferred to cost of 
 inventory                               -          -            -        25          -      25             -       25 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total inventory cash flow hedge 
 movements                               -          -            -        25          -      25             -       25 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
 
Transactions with owners 
Dividends paid to equity 
 shareholders                            -          -            -         -       (49)    (49)             -     (49) 
Net movement in own shares held          -          -            -         -         17      17             -       17 
Dividends paid to 
 non-controlling 
 interests                               -          -            -         -          -       -           (4)      (4) 
Acquisition and disposal of 
 non-controlling 
 interests                               -          -            -         -        (6)     (6)          (17)     (23) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Total transactions with owners           -          -            -         -       (38)    (38)          (21)     (59) 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
Balance as at 18 September 2021         45        175         (34)        43      9,692   9,921            83   10,004 
================================  ========  =========  ===========  ========  =========  ======  ============  ======= 
 

1. Operating segments

The Group has five operating segments, as described below. These are the Group's operating divisions, based on the management and internal reporting structure, which combine businesses with common characteristics, primarily in respect of the type of products offered by each business, but also the production processes involved and the manner of the distribution and sale of goods. The Board is the chief operating decision-maker.

Inter-segment pricing is determined on an arm's length basis. Segment result is adjusted operating profit, as shown on the face of the consolidated income statement. Segment assets comprise all non-current assets except employee benefits assets and deferred tax assets, and all current assets except cash and cash equivalents, current asset investments and income tax assets. Segment liabilities comprise trade and other payables, derivative liabilities, provisions and lease liabilities.

Segment results, assets and liabilities include items directly attributable to a segment as well as those that can be allocated on a reasonable basis. Unallocated items comprise mainly corporate assets and expenses, cash, borrowings, employee benefits balances and current and deferred tax balances.

Segment non-current asset additions are the total cost incurred during the period to acquire segment assets that are expected to be used for more than one year, comprising property, plant and equipment, right-of-use assets, operating intangibles and biological assets.

Businesses disposed are shown separately and comparatives have been re-presented for businesses sold or closed during the year.

The Group is comprised of the following operating segments:

Grocery

The manufacture of grocery products, including hot beverages, sugar and sweeteners, vegetable oils, balsamic vinegars, bread and baked goods, cereals, ethnic foods, and meat products, which are sold to retail, wholesale and foodservice businesses.

Sugar

The growing and processing of sugar beet and sugar cane for sale to industrial users and to Silver Spoon, which is included in the Grocery segment.

Agriculture

The manufacture of animal feeds and the provision of other products and services for the agriculture sector.

Ingredients

The manufacture of bakers' yeast, bakery ingredients, enzymes, lipids, yeast extracts and cereal specialities.

Retail

Buying and merchandising value clothing and accessories through the Primark and Penneys retail chains.

Geographical information

In addition to the required disclosure for operating segments, disclosure is also given of certain geographical information about the Group's operations, based on the geographical groupings: United Kingdom; Europe & Africa; The Americas; and Asia Pacific.

Revenues are shown by reference to the geographical location of customers. Profits are shown by reference to the geographical location of the businesses. Segment assets are based on the geographical location of the assets.

 
                                            Adjusted operating 
                              Revenue             profit 
                           ==============  ==================== 
                             2021    2020       2021       2020 
                             GBPm    GBPm       GBPm       GBPm 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
Operating segments 
Grocery                     3,593   3,528        413        437 
Sugar                       1,650   1,594        152        100 
Agriculture                 1,537   1,395         44         43 
Ingredients                 1,508   1,503        151        147 
Retail                      5,593   5,895        321        362 
Central                         -       -       (70)       (63) 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
                           13,881  13,915      1,011      1,026 
Businesses disposed: 
Grocery                         2      13          -        (1) 
Ingredients                     1       9          -        (1) 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
                           13,884  13,937      1,011      1,024 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
Geographical information 
United Kingdom              4,982   5,054        293        312 
Europe & Africa             4,944   5,048        302        298 
The Americas                1,678   1,619        259        254 
Asia Pacific                2,277   2,194        157        162 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
                           13,881  13,915      1,011      1,026 
Businesses disposed: 
Asia Pacific                    3      22          -        (2) 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
                           13,884  13,937      1,011      1,024 
=========================  ======  ======  =========  ========= 
 

2021

 
                                            Grocery  Sugar  Agriculture  Ingredients   Retail  Central    Total 
                                               GBPm   GBPm         GBPm         GBPm     GBPm     GBPm     GBPm 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Revenue from continuing businesses            3,594  1,714        1,539        1,687    5,593    (246)   13,881 
Internal revenue                                (1)   (64)          (2)        (179)        -      246        - 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses                                   3,593  1,650        1,537        1,508    5,593        -   13,881 
Businesses disposed                               2      -            -            1        -        -        3 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Revenue from external customers               3,595  1,650        1,537        1,509    5,593        -   13,884 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 
Adjusted operating profit before 
 joint ventures and associates                  364    149           31          134      321     (70)      929 
Share of profit after tax from 
 joint ventures and associates                   49      3           13           17        -        -       82 
------------------------------------------ 
Adjusted operating profit                       413    152           44          151      321     (70)    1,011 
Profits less losses on disposal 
 of non-current assets                            2      1            -            1        -        -        4 
Amortisation of non-operating intangibles      (41)      -          (2)          (7)        -        -     (50) 
Acquired inventory fair value adjustments       (3)      -            -            -        -        -      (3) 
Transaction costs                                 -      -            -          (2)        -      (1)      (3) 
Exceptional items                                 -  (141)            -            -      (6)      (4)    (151) 
Profits less losses on sale and 
 closure of businesses                            -      -            -           19        -        1       20 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Profit before interest                          371     12           42          162      315     (74)      828 
Finance income                                                                                       9        9 
Finance expense                                 (1)    (2)            -          (1)     (80)     (27)    (111) 
Other financial income                                                                             (1)      (1) 
Taxation                                                                                         (227)    (227) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Profit for the period                           370     10           42          161      235    (320)      498 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 
Segment assets (excluding joint 
 ventures and associates)                     2,541  1,776          441        1,480    6,919      154   13,311 
Investments in joint ventures and 
 associates                                      53     28          139          118        -        -      338 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Segment assets                                2,594  1,804          580        1,598    6,919      154   13,649 
Cash and cash equivalents                                                                        2,275    2,275 
Current asset investments                                                                           32       32 
Income tax                                                                                          81       81 
Deferred tax assets                                                                                218      218 
Employee benefits assets                                                                           640      640 
Segment liabilities                           (601)  (361)        (151)        (340)  (4,142)    (208)  (5,803) 
Loans and overdrafts                                                                             (406)    (406) 
Income tax                                                                                       (172)    (172) 
Deferred tax liabilities                                                                         (363)    (363) 
Employee benefits liabilities                                                                    (147)    (147) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Net assets                                    1,993  1,443          429        1,258    2,777    2,104   10,004 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 
Non-current asset additions                     113    134           21          118      343       16      745 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Depreciation (including depreciation 
 of right-of-use assets)                      (110)   (82)         (16)         (56)    (549)     (10)    (823) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Amortisation                                   (48)    (4)          (3)          (9)      (8)      (2)     (74) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Reversal of impairment of property, 
 plant & equipment and 
 right-of-use assets                              -      -            -           10        -        -       10 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 

2020

 
                                            Grocery  Sugar  Agriculture  Ingredients   Retail  Central    Total 
                                               GBPm   GBPm         GBPm         GBPm     GBPm     GBPm     GBPm 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Revenue from continuing businesses            3,530  1,658        1,398        1,685    5,895    (251)   13,915 
Internal revenue                                (2)   (64)          (3)        (182)        -      251        - 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses                                   3,528  1,594        1,395        1,503    5,895        -   13,915 
Businesses disposed                              13      -            -            9        -        -       22 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Revenue from external customers               3,541  1,594        1,395        1,512    5,895        -   13,937 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 
Adjusted operating profit before 
 joint ventures and associates                  404     98           33          132      362     (63)      966 
Share of profit after tax from 
 joint ventures and associates                   33      2           10           15        -        -       60 
Businesses disposed                             (1)      -            -          (1)        -        -      (2) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Adjusted operating profit                       436    100           43          146      362     (63)    1,024 
Profits less losses on disposal 
 of non-current assets                            9      7            1          (1)        3      (1)       18 
Amortisation of non-operating intangibles      (52)      -          (1)          (6)        -        -     (59) 
Acquired inventory fair value adjustments      (15)      -            -            -        -        -     (15) 
Transaction costs                                 -      -            -          (2)        -        -      (2) 
Exceptional items                                 5   (23)            -            -    (138)        -    (156) 
Profits less losses on sale and 
 closure of businesses                          (4)      -            -          (4)        -      (6)     (14) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Profit before interest                          379     84           43          133      227     (70)      796 
Finance income                                                                                      11       11 
Finance expense                                 (1)    (3)            -            -     (79)     (41)    (124) 
Other financial income                                                                               3        3 
Taxation                                                                                         (221)    (221) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Profit for the period                           378     81           43          133      148    (318)      465 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 
Segment assets (excluding joint 
 ventures and associates)                     2,689  1,893          429        1,470    7,372      155   14,008 
Investments in joint ventures and 
 associates                                      51     27          136           75        -        -      289 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Segment assets                                2,740  1,920          565        1,545    7,372      155   14,297 
Cash and cash equivalents                                                                        1,998    1,998 
Current asset investments                                                                           32       32 
Income tax                                                                                          30       30 
Deferred tax assets                                                                                212      212 
Employee benefits assets                                                                           100      100 
Segment liabilities                           (637)  (351)        (147)        (334)  (4,523)    (219)  (6,211) 
Loans and overdrafts                                                                             (472)    (472) 
Income tax                                                                                       (171)    (171) 
Deferred tax liabilities                                                                         (210)    (210) 
Employee benefits liabilities                                                                    (166)    (166) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Net assets                                    2,103  1,569          418        1,211    2,849    1,289    9,439 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 
Non-current asset additions                     104     88           21           97      476       13      799 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Depreciation (including depreciation 
 of right-of-use assets)                      (109)   (85)         (16)         (57)    (546)     (14)    (827) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Amortisation                                   (62)    (2)          (2)          (7)     (14)      (2)     (89) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Impairment of property, plant & 
 equipment and 
 right-of-use assets                           (15)      -            -            -        -        -     (15) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Impairment of property, plant and 
 equipment on sale 
 and closure of businesses                      (1)      -            -          (1)        -        -      (2) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
Impairment of right-of-use assets 
 on sale and closure 
 of businesses                                    -      -            -          (2)        -        -      (2) 
------------------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  -------  -------  ------- 
 

1. Operating segments - geographical information

2021

 
                                              United     Europe 
                                             Kingdom   & Africa  The Americas  Asia Pacific   Total 
                                                GBPm       GBPm          GBPm          GBPm    GBPm 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Revenue from external customers                4,982      4,944         1,678         2,280  13,884 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Segment assets                                 5,178      5,754         1,324         1,393  13,649 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Non-current asset additions                      200        382            74            89     745 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Depreciation (including depreciation 
 of right-of-use assets and non-cash 
 lease adjustments)                            (288)      (406)          (62)          (67)   (823) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Amortisation                                    (35)       (26)           (7)           (6)    (74) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Acquired inventory fair value adjustments          -        (3)             -             -     (3) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Reversal of impairment of property, 
 plant and equipment on sale and 
 closure of businesses                             -          -             -            10      10 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Transaction costs                                (2)          -             -           (1)     (3) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Exceptional items                               (13)      (117)             -          (21)   (151) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
 

2020

 
                                              United     Europe 
                                             Kingdom   & Africa  The Americas  Asia Pacific   Total 
                                                GBPm       GBPm          GBPm          GBPm    GBPm 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Revenue from external customers                5,054      5,048         1,619         2,216  13,937 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Segment assets                                 5,249      6,263         1,314         1,471  14,297 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Non-current asset additions                      197        406           128            68     799 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Depreciation (including depreciation 
 of right-of-use assets and non-cash 
 lease adjustments)                            (292)      (397)          (70)          (68)   (827) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Amortisation                                    (48)       (27)           (6)           (8)    (89) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Acquired inventory fair value adjustments          -       (15)             -             -    (15) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Impairment of property, plant & 
 equipment and 
 right-of-use assets                            (15)          -             -             -    (15) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Impairment of property, plant and 
 equipment on sale 
 and closure of businesses                         -          -             -           (2)     (2) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Impairment of right-of-use assets 
 on sale and 
 closure of businesses                             -          -             -           (2)     (2) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Transaction costs                                  -        (1)             -           (1)     (2) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
Exceptional items                                (4)      (108)          (44)             -   (156) 
------------------------------------------  --------  ---------  ------------  ------------  ------ 
 

The group's operations in the following countries met the criteria for separate disclosure:

 
                  Revenue      Non-current assets 
                ------------  -------------------- 
                 2021   2020       2021       2020 
                 GBPm   GBPm       GBPm       GBPm 
--------------  -----  -----  ---------  --------- 
Australia       1,209  1,161        533        558 
Spain           1,190  1,097        670        849 
United States   1,098  1,055        672        727 
--------------  -----  -----  ---------  --------- 
 

All segment disclosures are stated before reclassification of assets and liabilities classified as held for sale.

2. Exceptional items

2021

Exceptional items of GBP151m comprise impairments of GBP141m in property, plant and equipment at Azucarera and other sugar businesses, a GBP21m inventory charge in Primark, the reversal of GBP20m of the GBP22m Primark inventory provision raised last year, a GBP5m provision for excessive stock of COVID-19 related items in Primark and a GBP4m pension past service cost following a further High Court ruling on 20 November 2020 regarding the equalisation of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions.

In our sugar business in Spain we have seen a significant increase in revenues reflecting strong demand and higher prices, although the operating profit margin was impacted by lower volumes from the northern beet crop, as well as a one-off charge from a court arbitration. Our current view for yield and sugar content from beet sugar and our lower estimated margins due to the expected increases in raw refining volumes in the future has resulted in a non-cash exceptional charge of EUR136m to write down the net asset value of this business. Given the ongoing trading challenges in some of our smaller sugar businesses we have reviewed our forward projections for these units, including the forecast evolution of beet area and yields. As a result, we have made a non-cash adjustment of GBP21m to the relevant net asset values as an exceptional charge this year.

Our half year results included an inventory charge of GBP21m in Primark, which related to certain seasonal items already on display in closed stores and which could not be sold before the end of the season. This inventory had been cleared from our stores to allow spring/summer stock to be displayed as stores prepared to reopen, and an exceptional provision of GBP21m was charged to reflect the write-down of this inventory to net realisable value, which has subsequently been utilised.

The prior year end exceptional items included a GBP22m markdown provision which was created for potential damage of inventory stored on our behalf by suppliers for longer than usual as a result of the pandemic. In large part, this damage did not arise and GBP20m of the provision has been released. GBP5m has been provided for excessive stock of COVID-19 related items.

2020

The prior year included exceptional items of GBP156m. Impairments of GBP116m in property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets at Primark were recognised related to downsizing of a number of stores in the US and Germany. Beet volumes contracted by Azucarera in the second crop year after reducing the beet price paid to farmers, resulted in revised business forecasts and a GBP23m non-cash write-down of goodwill. A charge of GBP22m related to a markdown provision in Primark for inventory stored on our behalf by suppliers for longer than usual as a result of the pandemic. A GBP5m gain was recorded related to the closure of our Speedibake Wakefield factory where the net proceeds received from the insurance claim raised for the factory being destroyed by a fire in February 2020 exceeded the losses recorded earlier in the year.

3. Finance expense

 
                              2021    2020 
                              GBPm    GBPm 
==========================   =====  ====== 
Bank loans and overdrafts     (16)    (29) 
All other borrowings          (10)    (10) 
Lease liabilities             (84)    (84) 
Other payables                 (1)     (1) 
===========================  =====  ====== 
                             (111)   (124) 
 ==========================  =====  ====== 
 

4. Income tax expense

 
                                                                2021   2020 
                                                                GBPm   GBPm 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Current tax expense 
UK - corporation tax at 19% (2020 - 19%)                          46     57 
Overseas - corporation tax                                       208    203 
UK - under provided in prior periods                               9      3 
Overseas - over provided in prior periods                        (9)    (4) 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
                                                                 254    259 
Deferred tax expense 
UK deferred tax                                                   13      5 
Overseas deferred tax                                           (37)   (53) 
UK - (over)/under provided in prior periods                      (3)      3 
Overseas - under provided in prior periods                         -      7 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
                                                                (27)   (38) 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Total income tax expense in income statement                     227    221 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 
Reconciliation of effective tax rate 
Profit before taxation                                           725    686 
Less share of profit after tax from joint ventures and 
 associates                                                     (79)   (57) 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Profit before taxation excluding share of profit after 
 tax from joint ventures and associates                          646    629 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 
Nominal tax charge at UK corporation tax rate of 19% 
 (2020 - 19%)                                                    123    120 
Effect of higher and lower tax rates on overseas earnings         33     18 
Effect of changes in tax rates on income statement                17     13 
Expenses not deductible for tax purposes                          51     54 
Disposal of assets covered by tax exemptions or unrecognised 
 capital losses                                                  (3)      1 
Deferred tax not recognised                                        9      6 
Adjustments in respect of prior periods                          (3)      9 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
                                                                 227    221 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 
Income tax recognised directly in equity 
Deferred tax associated with defined benefit schemes             144   (15) 
Deferred tax associated with share-based payments                  -    (1) 
Deferred tax associated with movement in cash flow hedging 
 position                                                         14      - 
Deferred tax associated with movements in foreign exchange         -    (1) 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
                                                                 158   (17) 
-------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 

The UK corporation tax rate of 19% is set to increase to 25% from 1 April 2023. The legislation to effect these changes was enacted before the balance sheet date and UK deferred tax has been calculated accordingly. The effect of this change was a GBP15m charge to the income statement principally on the amortisation on non-operating intangibles and exceptional items and a GBP39m charge to other comprehensive income relating to the deferred tax liability on the pension surplus.

In April 2019 the European Commission published its decision on the Group Financing Exemption in the UK's controlled foreign company legislation. The Commission found that the UK law did not comply with EU State Aid rules in certain circumstances. The Group has arrangements that may be impacted by this decision as might other UK-based multinational groups that had financing arrangements in line with the UK's legislation in force at the time. The Group has appealed against the European Commission's decision, as have the UK Government and a number of other UK companies. We have calculated our maximum potential liability to be GBP26m (2020 - GBP27m), however we do not consider that any provision is required in respect of this amount based on our current assessment of the issue. Following receipt of charging notices from HM Revenue & Customs ('HMRC') during the year, we made payments to HMRC. Receipt of the charging notices marginally changed our assessment of the maximum potential liability but did not change our assessment that no provision is required in respect of this amount. We will continue to consider the impact of the Commission's decision on the group and the potential requirement to record a provision.

5. Dividends

 
                     2021        2020 
                pence per   pence per   2021   2020 
                    share       share   GBPm   GBPm 
-------------  ----------  ----------  -----  ----- 
2019 final              -       34.30      -    271 
2020 interim            -           -      -      - 
2020 final              -           -      -      - 
2021 interim         6.20           -     49      - 
-------------  ----------  ----------  -----  ----- 
                     6.20       34.30     49    271 
-------------  ----------  ----------  -----  ----- 
 

The 2021 interim dividend was declared on 20 April 2021 and was paid on 9 July 2021. As a sign of our confidence in our improved trading we have declared the payment of a special dividend, to be paid as a second interim dividend of 13.8p per share at a cost of GBP109m.

The Board has proposed a final dividend of 20.5p per share at a cost of GBP162m which together with the interim dividend of 6.2p per share makes a total of 26.7p per share for the year.

The combined 2021 final and special dividend of 34.3p, with a total value of GBP271m, will be paid on 14 January 2022 to shareholders on the register on 17 December 2021.

No interim or final dividend was proposed or paid for 2020.

6. Earnings per share

The calculation of basic earnings per share at 18 September 2021 was based on the net profit attributable to equity shareholders of GBP478m (2020 - GBP455m), and a weighted average number of shares outstanding during the year of 790 million (2020 - 790 million). The calculation of the weighted average number of shares excludes the shares held by the Employee Share Ownership Plan Trust on which the dividends are being waived.

Adjusted earnings per ordinary share, which exclude the impact of profits less losses on disposal of non-current assets and the sale and closure of businesses, amortisation of acquired inventory fair value adjustments, transaction costs, amortisation of non-operating intangibles, exceptional items and any associated tax credits, is shown to provide clarity on the underlying performance of the group.

The diluted earnings per share calculation takes into account the dilutive effect of share incentives. The diluted, weighted average number of shares is 790 million (2020 - 790 million). There is no difference between basic and diluted earnings.

 
 
                                                          2021    2020 
                                                         pence   pence 
-----------------------------------------------------   ------  ------ 
Adjusted earnings per share                               80.1    81.1 
Disposal of non-current assets                             0.5     2.3 
Sale and closure of businesses                             2.5   (1.8) 
Acquired inventory fair value adjustments                (0.4)   (1.9) 
Transaction costs                                        (0.4)   (0.3) 
Exceptional items                                       (19.1)  (19.7) 
Tax effect on above adjustments                            3.0     4.6 
Amortisation of non-operating intangibles                (6.3)   (7.5) 
Tax credit on non-operating intangibles amortisation 
 and goodwill                                              0.6     0.8 
------------------------------------------------------  ------  ------ 
Earnings per ordinary share                               60.5    57.6 
------------------------------------------------------  ------  ------ 
 

7. Acquisitions and disposals

Acquisitions

2021

In May 2021, the Group's Ingredients business acquired DR Healthcare España, a Spanish enzymes producer. Total consideration for this transaction was GBP14m, comprising GBP12m cash consideration and GBP2m deferred consideration. Net assets acquired included non-operating intangible assets of GBP19m, which were recognised with their related deferred tax of GBP5m.

During the period, the Group contributed GBP43m to the bakery ingredients joint venture in China with Wilmar International and also paid GBP2m of deferred consideration on acquisitions made in prior years.

2020

In December 2019, the Group's Grocery business in the UK acquired Al'Fez, a Middle Eastern food brand with customers in the UK and Europe. In the second half of the year the Group acquired two small Agriculture businesses in Europe and the Group's Ingredients business acquired Larodan, a Swedish manufacturer and international marketer of state-of-the-art, high-purity research-grade lipids that will expand our research and product development capabilities to better serve the pharmaceutical, nutritional and industrial market sectors.

Total consideration for these acquisitions was GBP19m, comprising GBP16m cash consideration and GBP3m deferred consideration. Net assets acquired comprised non-operating intangible assets of GBP15m, which were recognised with their related deferred tax of GBP3m, and GBP1m of other operating assets. Goodwill of GBP6m resulted from these acquisitions.

Disposals

2021

In the first half of 2021, the Group sold a number of our Chinese yeast and bakery ingredients businesses into a new Chinese joint venture with Wilmar International. These businesses were classified as a disposal group and held for sale at the previous year end. Gross cash consideration was GBP39m with GBP5m of cash disposed with the businesses. The joint venture also assumed GBP11m of debt, resulting in net proceeds of GBP45m. Net assets disposed were GBP33m with provisions of GBP6m for associated restructuring costs and a GBP6m gain on the recycling of foreign exchange differences. The gain on disposal was GBP6m.

In August, the Group agreed the sale of a further factory in China to the same joint venture, subject to regulatory approval. These factory assets were fully written down in 2019 when the proposed joint venture with Wilmar was first announced. A non-cash reversal of impairment of GBP10m has been included in profit on sale and closure of business.

Closure provisions of GBP3m relating to disposals made in previous years were no longer required and were released to sale and closure of business in Ingredients and Grocery, both in Asia Pacific. Property provisions of GBP1m held in previous years were also no longer required and were released in the Central and UK segments.

2020

In 2020, the Group announced the closure of the Cake business in the Grocery segment in Australia and the Jasol New Zealand business in the Ingredients segment, with GBP10m included in loss on closure of business, comprising GBP2m non-cash impairment of property, plant and equipment, GBP2m non-cash impairment of right-of-use assets and GBP6m of restructuring provisions. The Group also sold a small business in China, reported within the Asia Pacific and Grocery segments. Cash proceeds amounted to GBP2m on GBP1m of net assets disposed, resulting in a pre-tax profit on disposal of GBP1m.

Warranty provisions of GBP1m relating to disposals made in previous years were no longer required and were released to sale and closure of business in the Americas and Ingredients segments. The Group also charged a GBP6m onerous lease provision to sale and closure of business (in the Central and UK segments) in respect of guarantees given on property leases assigned to third parties that the Group expects to be required to honour.

8. Analysis of net debt

 
                                              At                           New leases                           At 
                                    12 September                         and non-cash      Exchange   18 September 
                                            2020  Cash flow  Disposals          items   adjustments           2021 
                                            GBPm       GBPm       GBPm           GBPm          GBPm           GBPm 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
Short-term loans                            (65)         10         10          (202)             3          (244) 
Long-term loans                            (318)         18          -            202            22           (76) 
Lease liabilities                        (3,639)        290          -          (100)           168        (3,281) 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
Total liabilities from financing 
 activities                              (4,022)        318         10          (100)           193        (3,601) 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
Cash at bank and in hand, 
 cash equivalents and overdrafts           1.909        340          -              -          (60)          2,189 
Current asset investments                     32          2          -              -           (2)             32 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
                                         (2,081)        660         10          (100)           131        (1,380) 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
 
 
                                              At 
                                    14 September 
                                            2019 
                                          (after                           New leases                           At 
                                         IFRS 16                         and non-cash      Exchange   12 September 
                                     transition)  Cash flow  Disposals          items   adjustments           2020 
                                            GBPm       GBPm       GBPm           GBPm          GBPm           GBPm 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
Short-term loans                            (89)         43          -           (23)             4           (65) 
Long-term loans                            (348)          2          -             23             5          (318) 
Lease liabilities                        (3,678)        247          1          (143)          (66)        (3,639) 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
Total liabilities from financing 
 activities                              (4,115)        292          1          (143)          (57)        (4,022) 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
Cash at bank and in hand, 
 cash equivalents and overdrafts           1,358        557          -              -           (6)          1,909 
Current asset investments                     29          2          -              -             1             32 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
                                         (2,728)        851          1          (143)          (62)        (2,081) 
---------------------------------  -------------  ---------  ---------  -------------  ------------  ------------- 
 

Cash and cash equivalents comprise bank and cash balances, call deposits and short-term investments with original maturities of three months or less. GBP86m (2020 - GBP89m) of bank overdrafts that are repayable on demand form an integral part of the Group's cash management and are included as a component of cash and cash equivalents for the purpose of the cash flow statement.

Net cash excluding lease liabilities Is GBP1,901m (2020 - GBP1,558m).

GBP86m (2020 - GBP89m) of bank overdrafts plus the GBP244m (2020 - GBP65m) of short-term loans shown above comprise the GBP330m (2020 - GBP154m) of current loans and overdrafts shown on the face of the balance sheet.

Current and non-current lease liabilities shown on the face of the balance sheet of GBP289m and GBP2,992m respectively (2020 - GBP297m and GBP3,342m respectively) comprise the GBP3,281m (2020 - GBP3,639m) of lease liabilities shown above.

Current asset investments comprise term deposits and short-term investments with original maturities of greater than three months but less than one year.

9. Related parties

The Group has a controlling shareholder relationship with its parent company, Wittington Investments Limited, with the trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation and with certain other individuals who hold shares in the Company. The Group has a related party relationship with its associates and joint ventures and with its directors. In the course of normal operations, related party transactions entered into by the Group have been contracted on an arm's length basis.

Material transactions and year end balances with related parties were as follows:

 
                                                            Sub     2021     2020 
                                                           note   GBP000   GBP000 
--------------------------------------------------------  -----  -------  ------- 
Charges to Wittington Investments Limited in respect 
 of services provided by the Company and its subsidiary 
 undertakings                                                        895    1,095 
Dividends paid by Associated British Foods and 
 received in a beneficial capacity by: 
(i) trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation 
 and their close family                                       1    1,570    9,151 
(ii) directors of Wittington Investments Limited 
 who are not trustees of the Foundation and their 
 close family                                                        300    3,632 
(iii) directors of the Company who are not trustees 
 of the Foundation and are not directors of Wittington 
 Investments Limited                                                  14       73 
Sales to fellow subsidiary undertakings on normal 
 trading terms                                                2       55       96 
Sales to companies with common key management 
 personnel on normal trading terms                            3   14,980   18,404 
Commissions paid to companies with common key 
 management personnel on normal trading terms                 3        -      557 
Amounts due from companies with common key management 
 personnel                                                    3    1,705    2,237 
Sales to joint ventures on normal trading terms                   44,405   14,154 
Sales to associates on normal trading terms                       46,407   28,249 
Purchases from joint ventures on normal trading 
 terms                                                           361,287  323,860 
Purchases from associates on normal trading terms                 16,524   12,863 
Amounts due from joint ventures                                   35,941   41,722 
Amounts due from associates                                        4,033    3,497 
Amounts due to joint ventures                                     22,960   26,745 
Amounts due to associates                                          1,615    1,272 
--------------------------------------------------------  -----  -------  ------- 
 

1. The Garfield Weston Foundation ('the Foundation') is an English charitable trust, established in 1958 by the late W. Garfield Weston. The Foundation has no direct interest in the Company, but as at 18 September 2021 was the beneficial owner of 683,073 shares (2020 - 683,073 shares) in Wittington Investments Limited representing 79.2% (2020 - 79.2%) of that company's issued share capital and is, therefore, the Company's ultimate controlling party. At 18 September 2021 trustees of the Foundation comprised four grandchildren of the late W. Garfield Weston and five children of the late Garry H. Weston.

   2.    The fellow subsidiary undertakings are Fortnum and Mason plc and Heal & Son Limited. 

3. The companies with common key management personnel are the George Weston Limited group, in Canada, and Selfridges & Co. Limited.

Amounts due from joint ventures include GBP32m (2020 - GBP40m) of finance lease receivables. The remainder of the balance is trading balances. All but GBP4m (2020 - GBP5m) of the finance lease receivables are non-current.

10. Other Information

The financial information set out above does not constitute the Company's statutory accounts for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021, or the 52 weeks ended 12 September 2020. Statutory accounts for 2020 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and those for 2021 will be delivered following the Company's annual general meeting. The auditors have reported on those accounts. Their reports were (i) unqualified, (ii) did not include references to any matters to which the auditors drew attention by way of emphasis without qualifying their reports and (iii) did not contain a statement under section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006 in respect of the accounts.

11. Basis of preparation

The Company presents its consolidated financial statements in sterling, rounded to the nearest million, prepared on the historical cost basis except that current biological assets and certain financial instruments are stated at fair value, and assets classified as held for sale are stated at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell.

The preparation of financial statements under Adopted IFRS requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions about the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, income and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. The estimates and associated assumptions are based on experience. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed regularly. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised prospectively from when the estimates are revised.

Details of accounting standards which came into force in the year are set out at the end of this note.

The Group's consolidated financial statements are prepared to the Saturday nearest to 15 September. Accordingly, they have been prepared for the 53 weeks ended 18 September 2021 (2020 - 52 weeks ended 12 September 2020).

To avoid delay in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements, the results of certain subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates are included to 31 August each year.

Adjustments have been made where appropriate for significant transactions or events occurring between 31 August and 18 September.

12. New accounting policies

The following accounting standards and amendments were adopted during the year and had no significant impact on the Group:

- Amendments to IFRS 3 Definition of a Business;

- Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8 Definition of Material;

- Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39, IFRS 7, IFRS 4 and IFRS 16 Interest Rate Benchmark Reform - Phase 1; and

- Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards.

The Group is assessing the impact of the following standards, interpretations and amendments that are not yet effective. Where already endorsed by the UKEB, these changes will be adopted on the effective dates noted. Where not yet endorsed by the UKEB, the adoption date is less certain:

- IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts effective 2023 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Amendments to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements: Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-current effective 2023 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Disclosure of Accounting Policies (Amendments to IAS 1 and IFRS Practice Statement 2) effective 2024 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Amendments to IAS 8 Definition of Accounting Estimates effective 2024 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Amendments to IAS 12 Deferred Tax related to Assets and Liabilities arising from a Single Transaction effective 2024 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Amendments to IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment - Proceeds before Intended Use effective 2023 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Amendments to IAS 37 Onerous Contracts - Cost of Fulfilling a Contract effective 2023 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB);

- Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39, IFRS 7, IFRS 4 and IFRS 16 Interest Rate Benchmark Reform - Phase 2 effective 2022 financial year (endorsed by the UKEB). Financial authorities have announced the timing of key interest rate benchmark replacements such as LIBOR in the UK, the US and the EU and other territories expected at the end of 2021, with remaining USD tenors expected to cease in 2023. We are primarily exposed to USD LIBORs that will be available until June 2023; and

- Annual Improvements to IFRS 2018-2020 effective 2023 financial year (not yet endorsed by the UKEB).

13. Alternative performance measures

In reporting financial information, the Board uses various APMs which it believes provide useful additional information for understanding the financial performance and financial health of the Group. These APMs should be considered in addition to IFRS measures and are not intended to be a substitute for them. Since IFRS does not define APMs, they may not be directly comparable to similar measures used by other companies.

The Board also uses APMs to improve the comparability of information between reporting periods and geographical units (such as like-for-like sales) by adjusting for non-recurring or uncontrollable factors which affect IFRS measures, to aid users in understanding the Group's performance.

Consequently, the Board and management use APMs for performance analysis, planning, reporting and incentive-setting.

 
                    Closest 
                     equivalent 
APM                  IFRS measure  Definition/purpose                              Reconciliation/calculation 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Like-for-like       No direct      The like-for-like sales metric enables          Consistent with 
 sales               equivalent     measurement of the performance of               the definition 
                                    our retail stores on a comparable               given 
                                    year-on-year basis. 
                                    This measure represents the change 
                                    in sales at constant currency in our 
                                    retail stores adjusted for new stores, 
                                    closures and relocations. Refits, 
                                    extensions and downsizes are also 
                                    adjusted for if a store's retail square 
                                    footage changes by 10% or more. For 
                                    each change described above, a store's 
                                    sales are excluded from like-for-like 
                                    sales for one year. 
                                    No adjustments are made for disruption 
                                    during refits, extensions or downsizes, 
                                    for cannibalisation by new stores, 
                                    or for the timing of national or bank 
                                    holidays. 
                                    It is measured against comparable 
                                    trading days in each year. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Two year            No direct      The like-for-like sales metric expressed        Consistent with 
 like-for-like       equivalent     over two years enables measurement              the definition 
 sales                              of the performance of our retail stores         given 
                                    compared to our experience in 2019, 
                                    which was before any of the economic 
                                    effects of COVID-19. 
                                    It is calculated as described above 
                                    for like-for-like sales, but with 
                                    2019 data as the comparator. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Adjusted            No direct      Adjusted operating (profit) margin              See note A 
 operating           equivalent     is adjusted operating profit as a 
 (profit)                           percentage of revenue. 
 margin 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Adjusted            Operating      Adjusted operating profit is stated             A reconciliation 
 operating           profit         before amortisation of non-operating            of this measure 
 profit                             intangibles, transaction costs, amortisation    is provided 
                                    of fair value adjustments made to               on the face 
                                    acquired inventory, profits less losses         of the consolidated 
                                    on disposal of non-current assets               income statement 
                                    and exceptional items.                          and by operating 
                                    Items defined above which arise in              segment in note 
                                    the Group's joint ventures and associates       1 of the financial 
                                    are also treated as adjusting items             statements 
                                    for the purposes of adjusted operating 
                                    profit. 
==================  =============  ==============================================  ========================== 
Adjusted            See adjusted   Adjusted operating profit before repayment      See note A 
 operating           operating      of job retention scheme monies is 
 profit              profit         adjusted operating profit adjusted 
 before              (non-IFRS)     for repayment of job retention scheme 
 repayment           measure        monies. 
 of job 
 retention 
 scheme 
 monies 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Adjusted            Profit         Adjusted profit before tax is stated            A reconciliation 
 profit              before         before amortisation of non-operating            of this measure 
 before              tax            intangibles, transaction costs, amortisation    is provided 
 tax                                of fair value adjustments made to               on the face 
                                    acquired inventory, profits less losses         of the consolidated 
                                    on disposal of non-current assets,              income statement 
                                    exceptional items and profits less              and by operating 
                                    losses on sale and closure of businesses.       segment in note 
                                    Items defined above which arise in              1 of the financial 
                                    the group's joint ventures and associates       statements 
                                    are also treated as adjusting items 
                                    for the purposes of adjusted profit 
                                    before tax. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Adjusted            Earnings       Adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings         Reconciliations 
 earnings            and earnings   per share are stated before amortisation        of these measures 
 and adjusted        per share      of non-operating intangibles, transaction       are provided 
 earnings                           costs, amortisation of fair value               in note 7 of 
 per share                          adjustments made to acquired inventory,         the financial 
                                    profits less losses on disposal of              statements 
                                    non-current assets, exceptional items 
                                    and profits less losses on sale and 
                                    closure of businesses together with 
                                    the related tax effect. 
                                    Items defined above which arise in 
                                    the Group's joint ventures and associates 
                                    are also treated as adjusting items 
                                    for the purposes of adjusted earnings 
                                    and adjusted earnings per share. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Exceptional         No direct      Exceptional items are items of income           Exceptional 
 items               equivalent     and expenditure which are material              items are included 
 Exceptional                        and unusual in nature and are considered        on the face 
 items (continued)                  of such significance that they require          of the consolidated 
                                    separate disclosure on the face of              income statement 
                                    the income statement.                           with further 
                                                                                    detail provided 
                                                                                    in note 2 of 
                                                                                    the financial 
                                                                                    statements 
==================  =============  ==============================================  ========================== 
Constant            Revenue        Constant currency measures are derived          See note B 
 currency            and see        by translating the relevant prior 
                     adjusted       year figure at current year average 
                     operating      exchange rates, except for countries 
                     profit         where CPI has escalated to extreme 
                     (non-IFRS)     levels, in which case actual exchange 
                     measure        rates are used. There are currently 
                                    two countries where the Group has 
                                    operations in this position - Argentina 
                                    and Venezuela. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Effective           Income         The effective tax rate is the tax               Whilst the effective 
 tax rate            tax expense    charge for the year expressed as a              tax rate is 
                                    percentage of profit before tax.                not disclosed, 
                                                                                    a reconciliation 
                                                                                    of the tax charge 
                                                                                    on profit before 
                                                                                    tax at the UK 
                                                                                    corporation 
                                                                                    tax rate to 
                                                                                    the actual tax 
                                                                                    charge is provided 
                                                                                    in note 5 of 
                                                                                    the financial 
                                                                                    statements 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Adjusted            No direct      The adjusted effective tax rate is              The tax impact 
 effective           equivalent     the tax charge for the year excluding           of reconciling 
 tax rate                           tax on adjusting items expressed as             items between 
                                    a percentage of adjusted profit before          profit before 
                                    tax.                                            tax and adjusted 
                                                                                    profit before 
                                                                                    tax is shown 
                                                                                    in note 7 of 
                                                                                    the financial 
                                                                                    statements 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Dividend            No direct      Dividend cover is the ratio of adjusted         See note C 
 cover               equivalent     earnings per share to dividends per 
                                    share relating to the year. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Capital             No direct      Capital expenditure is a measure of             See note D 
 expenditure         equivalent     investment each year in non-current 
                                    assets in existing businesses. It 
                                    comprises cash outflows from the purchase 
                                    of property, plant and equipment and 
                                    intangibles. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Gross investment    No direct      Gross investment is a measure of investment     See note E 
                     equivalent     each year in non-current assets of 
                                    existing businesses and acquisitions 
                                    of new businesses. It includes capital 
                                    expenditure as well as cash outflows 
                                    from the purchase of subsidiaries, 
                                    joint ventures and associates, additional 
                                    shares in subsidiary undertakings 
                                    purchased from non-controlling interests 
                                    and other investments, as well as 
                                    net debt assumed in acquisitions. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Net cash/debt       No direct      This measure comprises cash, cash               A reconciliation 
 before              equivalent     equivalents and overdrafts, current             of this measure 
 lease liabilities                  asset investments and loans.                    is shown in 
                                                                                    note 25 of the 
                                                                                    financial statements 
==================  =============  ==============================================  ========================== 
Net cash/debt       No direct      This measure comprises cash, cash               A reconciliation 
 including           equivalent     equivalents and overdrafts, current             of this measure 
 lease liabilities                  asset investments, loans and lease              is shown in 
                                    liabilities.                                    note 25 of the 
                                                                                    financial statements 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Adjusted            See Adjusted   Adjusted EBITDA is stated before depreciation,  See note F 
 EBITDA              operating      amortisation and impairment charged 
                     profit         to adjusted operating profit. 
                     (non-IFRS) 
                     measure 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Financial           No direct      Financial leverage is the ratio of              See note F 
 leverage            equivalent     net cash/debt including lease liabilities 
 ratio                              to adjusted EBITDA 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
(Average)           No direct      Capital employed is derived from the            Consistent with 
 capital             equivalent     management balance sheet and does               the definition 
 employed                           not reconcile directly to the statutory         given 
                                    balance sheet. All elements of capital 
                                    employed are calculated in accordance 
                                    with Adopted IFRS. 
                                    Average capital employed for each 
                                    segment and the Group is calculated 
                                    by averaging the capital employed 
                                    for each period of the financial year 
                                    based on the reporting calendar of 
                                    each business. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
Return              No direct      The return on (average) capital employed        Consistent with 
 on (average)        equivalent     measure divides adjusted operating              the definition 
 capital                            profit by average capital employed.             given 
 employed 
(Average)           No direct      Working capital is derived from the             Consistent with 
 working             equivalent     management balance sheet and does               the definition 
 capital                            not reconcile directly to the statutory         given 
 (Average)                          balance sheet. All elements of working 
 working                            capital are calculated in accordance 
 capital                            with Adopted IFRS. 
 (continued)                        Average working capital for each segment 
                                    and the Group is calculated by averaging 
                                    the working capital for each period 
                                    of the financial year based on the 
                                    reporting calendar of each business. 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
(Average)           No direct      This measure expresses (average) working        Consistent with 
 working             equivalent     capital as a percentage of revenue.             the definition 
 capital                                                                            given 
 as a percentage 
 of revenue 
------------------  -------------  ----------------------------------------------  -------------------------- 
 

Note A

 
                                                                                             Central 
                                                                                        and disposed 
                                     Grocery  Sugar  Agriculture  Ingredients  Retail     businesses   Total 
                                        GBPm   GBPm         GBPm         GBPm    GBPm           GBPm    GBPm 
-----------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  ------  -------------  ------ 
2021 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses                            3,593  1,650        1,537        1,508   5,593              3  13,884 
Adjusted operating profit                413    152           44          151     321           (70)   1,011 
Repayment of job retention scheme 
 monies                                    -      -            -            -      94              -      94 
Adjusted operating profit before 
 repayment of job retention scheme 
 monies                                  413    152           44          151     415           (70)   1,105 
Adjusted operating margin %            11.5%   9.2%         2.9%        10.0%    5.7%                   7.3% 
2020 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses                            3,528  1,594        1,395        1,503   5,895             22  13,937 
Adjusted operating profit                437    100           43          147     362           (65)   1,024 
Adjusted operating margin %            12.4%   6.3%         3.1%         9.8%    6.1%                   7.3% 
-----------------------------------  =======  =====  ===========  ===========  ======  =============  ====== 
 

Note B

 
                                                                                           Disposed 
                                   Grocery  Sugar  Agriculture  Ingredients     Retail   businesses   Total 
                                      GBPm   GBPm         GBPm         GBPm       GBPm         GBPm    GBPm 
---------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  ---------  -----------  ------ 
2021 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses 
 at actual rates                     3,593  1,650        1,537        1,508      5,593            3  13,884 
2020 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses 
 at actual rates                     3,528  1,594        1,395        1,503      5,895           22  13,937 
Impact of foreign exchange            (29)   (70)          (8)         (49)       (14)            1   (169) 
---------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  ---------  -----------  ------ 
External revenue from continuing 
 businesses 
 at constant currency                3,499  1,524        1,387        1,454      5,881           23  13,768 
 
 
% change at constant currency          +3%    +8%         +11%          +4%    *    5%                  +1% 
---------------------------------  -------  -----  -----------  -----------  ---------  -----------  ------ 
 
 
                                                                                                        Central 
                                                                                                   and disposed 
                                      Grocery  Sugar  Agriculture  Ingredients            Retail     businesses  Total 
                                         GBPm   GBPm         GBPm         GBPm              GBPm           GBPm   GBPm 
----------------------------------  ---------  -----  -----------  -----------  ----------------  -------------  ----- 
2021 
Adjusted operating profit at 
 actual 
 rates                                    413    152           44          151               321           (70)  1,011 
2020 
Adjusted operating profit at 
 actual 
 rates                                    437    100           43          147               362           (65)  1,024 
Impact of foreign exchange               (16)   (13)          (2)          (7)                 -              2   (36) 
----------------------------------  ---------  -----  -----------  -----------  ----------------  -------------  ----- 
Adjusted operating profit at 
 constant 
 currency                                 421     87           41          140               362           (63)    988 
 
 
% change at constant currency         *    2%   +75%          +7%          +8%          *    11%                   +2% 
----------------------------------  ---------  -----  -----------  -----------  ----------------  -------------  ----- 
 

Note C

 
                                                              2021   2020 
                                                              GBPm   GBPm 
-----------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Adjusted earnings per share (pence)                           80.1  81.10 
Dividends relating to the year (pence) - excluding special 
 dividend proposed                                            26.7      - 
-----------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Dividend cover                                                3.00    n/a 
-----------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 

Note D

 
                                             2021   2020 
From the cash flow statement                 GBPm   GBPm 
------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Purchase of property, plant and equipment     551    561 
Purchase of intangibles                        76     61 
------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
                                              627    622 
------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 

Note E

 
                                                                     2021   2020 
From the cash flow statement                                         GBPm   GBPm 
------------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
Purchase of property, plant and equipment                             551    561 
Purchase of intangibles                                                76     61 
Purchase of subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates                57     16 
Purchase of shares in subsidiary undertaking from non-controlling 
 interests                                                             23      2 
Purchase of other investments                                          14      1 
------------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
                                                                      721    641 
------------------------------------------------------------------  -----  ----- 
 

Note F

 
                                                                                            2019 
                                                                                           (IFRS 
                                                                                          16 pro 
                                                                                           forma 
                                                                         2021     2020    basis) 
                                                                         GBPm     GBPm      GBPm 
====================================================================  =======  =======  ======== 
Adjusted operating profit                                               1,011    1,024     1,482 
Charged to adjusted operating profit: 
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment                             535      538       544 
Amortisation of operating intangibles                                      26       33        23 
Depreciation of right-of-use assets and non-cash lease adjustments        288      289       281 
Impairment of property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets         -       15         - 
====================================================================  =======  =======  ======== 
Adjusted EBITDA                                                         1,860    1,899     2,330 
Net debt including lease liabilities                                  (1,380)  (2,081)   (2,728) 
Financial leverage ratio                                                  0.7      1.1       1.2 
====================================================================  =======  =======  ======== 
 

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2021 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

Grafico Azioni Associated British Foods (LSE:ABF)
Storico
Da Dic 2021 a Gen 2022 Clicca qui per i Grafici di Associated British Foods
Grafico Azioni Associated British Foods (LSE:ABF)
Storico
Da Gen 2021 a Gen 2022 Clicca qui per i Grafici di Associated British Foods