All eyes are on Associated British Foods this week as the international food, ingredients and retail group prepares to release its half-year figures tomorrow.

Analysts are predicting that the company, which produces brands such as Kingsmill bread and Twinings Tea, will record half-year pre-tax profit of £253m compared with £259m the year before.

They have also predicted that the food side of the business, which includes its sugar business British Sugar, will show little, if any, growth.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon believe that tough trading conditions in the European sugar market could result in a 33% decline in pre-tax profit for British Sugar.

Last month ABF said that it was in discussion with African sugar producer Illovo Sugar about a possible transaction which could involve it taking a 51% stake in the group.

It has also been linked as a possible bidder for Campbell Soup Company's UK and Ireland businesses which Campbell revealed last month it was considering selling.

Panmure Gordon added that although ABF had underperformed the market in 2006 it believed the company would return to growth rates of approximately 10% a year in 2007.

Analysts are also expecting its high street fashion business Primark to deliver a 22% increase in pre-tax profit for the period.