TATE & Lyle today said its first-half performance was better than expected after sales to food and drink customers held firm.

The sugar and ingredients business reported a 7% rise in half-year revenues to £1.82 billion, while adjusted operating profits reduced 1% to £148 million.

Tate said it traded slightly ahead of expectations in the first half, despite challenging conditions in a number of its markets.

In its food and industrial ingredients businesses in the Americas and Europe, Tate said the order patterns of its food and beverage customers appeared to have been re-established, albeit at slightly lower levels.

However, industrial starch, US ethanol and US animal feed markets remain under pressure.

Including exceptional costs of £55 million relating to the mothballing of a sucralose plant in Alabama, pre-tax profits fell 59% to £50 million.