Associated British Foods has said earnings for the year to 17 September were 14% ahead of the previous year and it has invested over £1.5bn (US$2.6bn) for future growth.

The company said group sales were up 9% to £5.62bn, while adjusted operating profit rose 18% to £565m. Adjusted profit before tax was up 12% to £590m.

"To deliver a 14% growth in earnings in such a competitive environment is very encouraging and reflects the contribution from our acquisitions and further progress in a number of our key growth platforms, such as international hot beverages, US branded grocery and Primark, which had an outstanding performance. We have also laid firm foundations for long-term growth with over £1.5bn invested in acquisitions and capital expenditure," said George Weston, chief executive.

ABF's brands include Twinings, Mazola and Ovaltine. It also operates discount clothing retailer Primark.