Tate & Lyle reported stronger than expected first half results with adjusted pre-tax profits of £180m.
The sweeteners group said the numbers, which were 10% ahead of what analysts expected, came as a result of strong demand across a number of markets. Sales were up 19% to £1.54bn.
The firm announced a dividend of 7.1p per share, up 4.4% on the previous year.
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Investors liked the taste of that and pushed the shares up almost 4% in morning trading.
Chief executive Javed Ahmed, Chief Executive, said it had been an "encouraging performance".
"In Speciality Food Ingredients, we delivered good profit growth driven by increased sales volumes across the product portfolio and stable operating margins," he said.
"Within Bulk Ingredients, we experienced firm demand for corn sugars in the US and Mexico and improved industrial starch margins particularly in Europe," he added.
The firm added that during the first half it had experienced exceptionally strong co-product returns as a result of tight market conditions.
However, the company did caution that it expected profits for the full year will be more heavily weighted towards the first half than usual due to the exceptional performance of co-products in the first half.
It also said this would be affected by SPLENDA Sucralose volumes reverting to more normal levels and second half costs increasing as a result of restarting its McIntosh facility in Alabama.
Barclays analyst Prateek Datta said the results were likely to put further positive pressure on the Moody's rating which was changed to a positive outlook in Agust.
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