DORSET Cereals’ owner has posted a 37 per cent jump in its pre-tax profits in the six months leading to March. 

Associated British Foods, which bought the Poole-based cereal company in 2014 for £50m, revealed its pre-tax profit hit £881 million. 

The firm said consumers remain under some pressure from the cost-of-living crisis but  profit was a consequence of investment in previous years in expanding its stores and making parts of the supply chain like warehouses more efficient. 

Associated British Foods also owns several household names including British Sugar, Blue Dragon and Primark. 

Group revenues ticked up 5 per cent at constant currency to £9.7 billion, driven by demand across its retail and food businesses. 

Chief executive George Weston said “on every shopping trip, people have been buying a little less”, adding: “The consumer is still short of disposable income.  

“The situation is improving a bit… some of the pressure has reduced. But until interest rates start coming down, I think many families will still struggle.” 

Mr Weston also revealed conditions have improved, with costs starting to come down and the “restoration of some normality in our markets and in our supply chains”. 

Dorset Cereals produced 10 tonnes of cereal a day, with five recipes, when it moved to Poundbury in 2000. 

In 2018, the business moved to a £5.5million unit on the Ryvita site at Poole to improve efficiency, using machinery designed specifically for manufacturing Dorset Cereals.