The volume momentum in both its specialty food ingredients division, which covers starches and stabilisers, sweeteners such as sucrolose, fibres and salt-reducing ingredients, and bulk ingredients, including industrial starches and acidulants, means it is on track to deliver progress in adjusted profit before tax for the current financial year.
In a trading statement for the three months ending 31 December 2017, it said its core business of specialty food ingredients delivered good volume growth, including modest volume growth in North American markets.
Strategic decisions taken in the first half of the year, however, could temper profit growth of specialty food ingredients in the second half – “particularly [the decision] to invest behind the longer term development of the business”, it said.
In bulk ingredients, sweetener volume in North America grew and profit growth is currently expected to be robust for the financial year ending 31 March 2018. The 2018 calendar year bulk sweetener pricing round is now substantially complete with margins broadly in line with the previous year," it said.
Addressing investors in a conference call this morning, CEO Javed Ahmed said: "Overall we are pleased with the progress we are making on our focus on top line growth."
The London Stock Exchange-listed company reported sales of £2.8bn (€3.2bn) for the financial year ending 31 March 2017 - a 17% increase in total sales.
It also saw its pre-tax profit almost double, going from £126m (€144m) to £233m (€267m) in the 12-month trading period.
The company’s outgoing Ahmed – who is due to retire from the firm this April after almost ten years at the top spot – put this impressive 85% increase in profit before tax down to higher sales, a weak pound following the Brexit vote and fewer exceptional costs.
Ahmed will be replaced by Tate & Lyle’s current chief finance officer, Nick Hampton. Hampton said today that emerging markets would be part of the future success of the Tate & Lyle but that he would wait until the firm’s full year results in May before giving details of his future priorities for the firm.