Share this page

2021 annual results announcement


Strong delivery in food; retail trading and margin recovering.

    Actual currency change Constant currency change
Group revenue


In line


Adjusted operating profit




Adjusted profit before tax



Adjusted earnings per share



Dividends per share      
–   Interim


–   Final


–   Special


Gross investment


Net cash before lease liabilities


Net debt including lease liabilities


Statutory operating profit


In line

Statutory profit before tax



Basic earnings per share



Statutory operating profit of £808m for the year was broadly in line with the statutory operating profit of £810m last year and is stated after charging net exceptional items of £151m this year compared to £156m in the last financial year.

Strong delivery in food

  • Combined revenue up 5%1 and adjusted operating profit up 10% to £760m1
  • 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 £415m2
  • Like-for-like3 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


  • 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 53rd 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 enquiries 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 £13.9bn 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.

ABF Annual Results Announcement (pdf)

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie policy

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie policy