Shares in Associated British Foods were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading despite the group reporting a rise in revenue and pre-tax profit in the half year ended 5 March.

Group revenue during the period was up nine per cent to £5.2 billion, while adjusted pre-tax profit increased seven per cent to £353 million.

The group said that it would be raising its dividend four per cent to 7.9 per cent.

Net debt at the end of the period was reported as being £1.4 billion.

George Weston, Chief Executive of Associated British Foods, said, "The breadth, diversity and resilience of our businesses have enabled the group to deliver good growth. We have made further substantial capital investment for the longer-term development of the group."

By 10:35 shares in Associated British Foods were down 6.79 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 974.00 pence per share.