Tate&Lyle beats forecasts and plots more growth

City A.M. Reporter
Sweeteners and starches maker Tate & Lyle beat forecasts with a 34 per cent rise in year profits on Friday helped by higher corn prices and gave an upbeat outlook as it sees another year of profitable growth.

The maker of sweeteners like Splenda and starches said it saw a year of good sales growth from its added-value products, while in bulk ingredients it forecast flat sweetener margins and expected its industrial starches to perform better.

"Overall, with a more focussed business, a stronger balance sheet and a continuation of the steps we are taking to focus, fix and grow our business, we expect to deliver another year of profitable growth," said chief executive Javed Ahmed in a results statement.

Ahmed has focussed on value-added products and away from bulk commodity products since taking on the role of CEO in late 2009, selling its sugar operations last year to break a 150-year link to sugar and this year sold its mothballed Fort Dodge ethanol plant in Iowa to rival Cargill CARG.UL.

The British company, which makes most of its profits in the United States, posted pre-tax profit of £263m for the year to the end March, ahead of a company compiled £257mforecast.

Tate raised its full-year dividend by 3.5 percent to 23.7 pence, its first annual increase since 2008/09.