Associated British Foods has warned that first-half profits at the manufacturing giant will show a drop from last year despite improved sales at its Allied Bakeries subsidiary.

In a statement the company said Allied had “continued to trade well, with higher branded volumes and an improvement in profit” but warned that profits for the six months to 28 February would be “slightly lower”.

Despite a good performance from Kingsmill baker Allied, the company’s grocery division, whose brands include Ryvita and Blue Dragon, is expected to show reduced overall sales for the period.

Although drinks brands Twinings and Ovaltine both did well, the company said “substantially lower profit” at oils business ACH and a slump at sugar brand Silver Spoon would “outweigh progress elsewhere”.

More positively, the company said its ingredients business had made major gains due in part to the weakness of the pound, while business at clothing arm Primark was said to be “ahead of expectations”.

Full results for the period will be published on 21 April.