Tate & Lyle shares take £400m hit after profit warning

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stock market, Stock

Lower prices for Chinese sucralose led to a big drop in Tate & Lyle's profits - and the first of three profit warnings - a year ago
Lower prices for Chinese sucralose led to a big drop in Tate & Lyle's profits - and the first of three profit warnings - a year ago
Nearly £400m (€538m) was wiped from Tate & Lyle’s stock value on Friday after it issued its third profit warning in a year.

The company said it expected profits to be modestly below the £230m-£245m (€309m-€330m) range it predicted in September – itself a downward revision of an earlier full year profit forecast of £322m (€433m).

“Following the weak performance of Bulk Ingredients in the third quarter driven by lower US sweetener volumes and pressure in ethanol and EU bulk sweetener markets, which we anticipate will continue through the fourth quarter, we now expect Group profits for the full financial year to be modestly below the range stated in September 2014 of £230 to £245million,”​ the company said in a statement.

Tate & Lyle issued its first profit warning in February 2014, reporting a big drop in profits from sucralose on increased competition from China, and share value has fallen 26% since then.

Chief executive Javed Ahmed said in a conference call on Friday: “The group had a challenging quarter… Bulk ingredients faced a combination of industry-related issues in the quarter …We expect these issues to continue to impact this division in the fourth quarter and beyond.”

The company’s share price hit a low of 573.5 pence after the announcement.

Market analyst Darren Shirley at Shore Capital said in an investment note on Monday: “We have struggled for a number of years to be positive on Tate & Lyle, noting that despite all the previous (and past) management’s action to diversify the growth into profit streams with better quality and visibility, the group still remains heavily exposed to commodity markets, in many of which it is subscale, and hence on which it has limited control and visibility.”

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