Associated British Foods (ABF) has unveiled a sales increase of 10% to £6.3bn in its first half, compared with the same period last year.

The company behind the Allied Bread and Milling group said the increase, and a 20% hike in adjusted operating profit of 20% to £496m, had largely been driven by Primark, the clothes shop chain it also owns.

However, ABF added: “Our food businesses remained on track with a much-improved result from grocery, a big increase for agriculture and some stabilisation in underlying trading at ingredients. After last year’s record performance from sugar, the result this half-year proved to be resilient.”

On the sugar front ABF said that it had delivered an “underlying profit” increase this year and that weather-related challenges in Europe were being well managed.