Croda International (LSE: CRDA) makes a wide range of speciality chemicals, including ingredients for skin-care, hair-care and cosmetic products made by firms such as L'Oral and Este Lauder.
At the end of February, the firm posted solid annual results for 2017, showing sales and profits rising for the third year in succession. Sales grew by 10.4% to £1.37bn, while adjusted profits before tax rose 11.1% to £320m. Around half the increase was the result of organic growth in sales in premium markets, with the rest due to the weak pound, which boosted the sterling value of overseas earnings.
Be glad you didn't buy
Polymetal International (LSE: POLY) is a precious-metals miner operating in Russia, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Last month, it reported a 10% fall in net profit during 2017 (down to $354m, compared with $395m in 2016), which it blamed on higher mining costs and the impact of the stronger rouble.
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During the same period, cash costs per ounce of gold equivalent rose by 15% to $658. Revenue grew 15% year-on-year to $1.82bn, driven by higher gold production. Despite the mixed results, Polymetal declared a final dividend of $0.30, taking the total payout for the year to $0.44, up 4.7% on 2016.
Alice grew up in Stockholm and studied at the University of the Arts London, where she gained a first-class BA in Journalism. She has written for several publications in Stockholm and London, and joined MoneyWeek in 2017.
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