Croda eyes further progress in year ahead

Speciality chemicals manufacturer Croda Interntional drove full year earnings higher and added that despite persistent economic uncertainty, particularly in Europe, it has made an encouraging start to the year and is confident of further progress in 2013.

Speciality chemicals manufacturer Croda Interntional drove full year earnings higher and added that despite persistent economic uncertainty, particularly in Europe, it has made an encouraging start to the year and is confident of further progress in 2013.

Pre-tax profit rose 6.6% to £253.2m for the year to December 31st 2012 from £237.5m the same time a year earlier following strong final quarter growth from Consumer Care and Performance Technologies. Sales on continuing operations increased 2.3% to £1.1bn.

Sales at Consumer Care rose to £586.4m from £571.4m while Performance Technologies climbed to £382.8m from £373.6m.

Sales at Industrial Chemicals fell to £82.7m from £83.0m previously. The figures reflect high raw material prices and competitive commodity and textile markets, Croda said, although it did see an improving trend in the second half of the year.

Chairman Martin Flower said: "This achievement in tough economic conditions demonstrates the resilience of our Consumer Care and Performance Technologies businesses, with both sectors reporting higher profits and a further improvement in margins."

Earnings per share from continuing operations increased 8.2% to 130.0p. Croda said its balance sheet has been further improved with reductions in net debt and its pension deficit.

"Our progress reflects our focus on sustainable growth through continued product innovation in niche markets and increasing investment in new technologies and emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America," Flower added.

Croda recorded fourth quarter underlying sales growth of 5.7%. The increase in sales and profitability in the fourth quarter was evident in all business sectors, the group explained.

Looking ahead Croda said: "Economic uncertainty continues, particularly in Europe, but we have made an encouraging start to the year and the board is confident of further progress in 2013."

The board is now recommending an increased final dividend of 32.75p compared to 30.25p in 2011. Together with the interim dividend of 26.75p, this makes a total dividend of 59.5p an increase of 8.2% for the year.

CJ

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it
Inflation

Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it

The UK government borrowed £34.1bn in December, a record amount for that month. Britain's debt pile now amounts to 100% of GDP. How are we going to pa…
22 Jan 2021
When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?
US stockmarkets

When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?

With US stocks more expensive than before the Wall Street crash of 1929, there are growing signs of “mania”. But what will push markets over the edge?
22 Jan 2021