Croda sees strong start to year

■ British chemical maker Croda International’s first-quarter profit rose seven per cent helped by growth at its consumer care and performance technologies divisions. The company, which caters to cosmetics, healthcare, agriculture and homecare markets, said its quarterly results represented a strong start to the year. Croda reported January-March pre-tax profit of £65.1m from £60.7m a year ago. Revenue grew 4.7 per cent to £291m.