Group revenues at Associated British Foods rose 13% in the 16 weeks to 5 January.

Revenues at the food manufacturer to clothing retailer's agriculture business increased 20%, and by 16% in its ingredients business.

Grocery revenue rose 15% with good sales growth from Twinings Ovaltine but sugar revenues fell 12% because the equivalent period last year benefited from the early shipment of export sales from the UK.

The group reiterated that profits in the UK would be lower than last year in its sugar division because of the EU sugar regime restructuring, higher energy costs and a smaller crop.