- Dairy Farm International reports sound profit growth in 2016, its 130th anniversary year, despite soft consumer spending and intense pressure on pricing in most markets.

Underlying profit rose by 7% to $460m with the group seeing an 11% increase in the second half compared with 2015.

Improved operating margins in the food division and at IKEA, as well as strong contributions from Maxim's and Yonghui, underpinned the profit performance.

The group continued to make progress against its key strategic objectives and invested a further US$190 million in Yonghui Superstores to maintain its shareholding.

Sales for the year by the Group's subsidiaries of US$11.2 billion were 1% ahead of last year.

Total sales, including 100% of associates and joint ventures, of US$20.4 billion were 14% higher than 2015, buoyed by stronger growth at Yonghui as well as an additional three months of contribution from Yonghui.

Chairman Ben Keswick said "Despite the uncertain economic outlook for 2017, the Group continues to strengthen its businesses.

"Investments are being made to enhance its competitive position, increase customer convenience and adapt to emerging consumer trends.

"These investments, coupled with the exposure of its market-leading retail brands to Asia's growth markets, will support Dairy Farm's long-term success."

At 9:19am:

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