Ingredients maker Tate & Lyle raised forecasts today following a positive half year update, showing an uptick in sales of healthier food and drink alternatives.
Sales grew six per cent to £1.4bn in the six months to 30 September, while adjusted profit before tax came in 21 per cent ahead of the same period last year at £169m.
The company dished out an interim dividend of 8.4p, up 0.2p on last year.
Shares in the company closed up 1.66 per cent at 675.5p.
Why it's interesting
Sales of new products were up 14 per cent, with the company noting that lower sugar, calorie and fat products were driving growth.
This coincides with a global trend which has seen sugar-free options begin to outsell their traditional counterparts. Last year non-sugar Coca-Cola matched sale of the original recipe in the UK for the first time.
However, one of Tate & Lyle's flagship products Splenda dragged on sales of speciality food ingredients. Volumes were down 17 per cent, which the company said was due to the sale of excess inventory.
What Tate & Lyle said
Chief executive Javed Ahmed said:
"Turning to the outlook, we expect underlying adjusted profit before tax in constant currency for the full year to be modestly higher than we anticipated coming into the year driven by the strong first half performance.”