Tate & Lyle has reported a 6% fall in profit before tax for the first half of the year, according to the latest figures.

The results saw profit before tax decrease to £158m, down £10m from £168m. Adjusted profit before tax fell by 3% from £178m to £173m.

Operating profit was reported as £176m in the six months to 30 September, down from £186m the previous year. The interim dividend per share was up 5.4% from 7.4p to 7.8p

Speciality food ingredients sales were reported at £112m, a like-for-like growth of 10% from £108m. Net debt was reduced by £143m to £336m, previously at £479m in March.

Javed Ahmed, chief executive, said that overall results were “held back” by a soft beverage season in the US. He added, however, that the business “performed solidly” in the first half of the year, with good sales growth in speciality food ingredients.

“We continue to be pleased with the progress we are making in delivering our long-term strategy,” he said. “As well as broadening the geographic mix of the business, we are increasingly leveraging the investments we have made to strengthen our global innovation capabilities and to collaborate more closely with our customers.”