Tate & Lyle plans more innovation as sales soar

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Starch, Sucralose, Tate & lyle

 Food industry: Tate & Lyle annual results reveal Eminate development
Tate & Lyle revealed big plans for innovation as it reported soaring sales and profits driven by market forces that benefited its development of sweeteners and speciality ingredients.

Reporting on full year results to March 31, 2012, the firm promised new salt reduction products later this year thanks to an agreement with University of UK-based Eminate.

The range draws on Eminate’s novel salt reduction technology, which it claims can be used to cut salt content by as much as 30%. Soda-Lo products can be used in foods stretching from bread, pizza bases and pastry to savoury pie fillings, cheese and baked snacks.

Speciality Food Ingredients

2011-2012 was a rollercoaster year for Tate & Lyle’s Speciality Food Ingredients (SFI) division, the company reported.

That market continued to benefit from consumer focus on healthy lifestyles and the search for healthier ingredients to combat the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes.

Volatile and high sugar prices had driven companies towards Tate & Lyle’s cost reduction and optimisation projects. The company had also been able to pass high input costs down the supply chain, increasing value sales.

These factors offset weaker demand in the second half of the year in food ingredient categories hit by the global economic slump.

SFI volume sales grew by 4%, while value sales rose by 10% from £805m (€1bn) to £887m (€1.11bn). Starch-based ingredients achieved strong value growth of 14% in particular.

Starches and sweeteners

Tate & Lyle said the high price of potato starches and changes in the potato price regime had provided opportunities to expand volumes of higher margin food starches for snacks. In addition it had benefited from a shortage of alternatives to corn starches. It had worked with customers wishing to replace potato starch with its corn-based alternatives.

In fibres and sweeteners, the firm said the European Food Safety Authority’s health claim approval for polydextrose had boosted sales. Volume sales of high intensity sweeteners had jumped by 13% and value sales by 6%.Volume sales of Splenda Sucralose had risen by 12%, again driven by demand for healthier ingredients. Volatile and high sugar prices had also pushed the industry towards alternatives, said Tate & Lyle.

The business said it would focus on supporting customers’ new product development using its Purefruit zero calorie fruit-derived sweetener in the coming year.

Food systems

In food systems the company said it was broadening its coverage by moving more into bakery and was gaining traction in the sphere of gluten free products.

Bulk ingredient sales grew by 15% in value across the year and operating profit for that division shot up by 10%.

Overall, pre-tax profit for Tate & Lyle rose by an impressive 55% in the year to March 31 2012 to £379m (€473.53m) from £245m (€306.1m) on sales up 14% from £2.72bn (€3.4bn) to £3.09bn (€3.86bn).

“This was a year of working hard to achieve a number of  our business transformation milestones  while at the same time delivering  profitable growth,”​ said chief executive Javier Ahmed.

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