Javed Ahmed, Chief Executive, said:
I am pleased to report that the underlying business continues to perform well and that despite having entered the year facing a number of headwinds we have made progress. The opening of our new global Commercial and Food Innovation Centre in Chicago has significantly enhanced the level of engagement with our customers, and we have also made headway developing the innovation pipeline and bringing new products to market. Looking ahead, we will continue to build on the foundations we have laid and expect to deliver another year of profitable growth.
- Speciality Food Ingredients sales up 7% to £947 million (8% in constant currency) with adjusted operating profit broadly in line (0% in constant currency) with the prior year at £213 million (2012 â€“ £214 million)
- Bulk Ingredients adjusted operating profit up by 6% to £182 million (7% in constant currency)
- Adjusted diluted earnings per share up 4% to 57.0p (5% in constant currency)
- 5.6% increase proposed for the final dividend to 18.8p, making a total dividend increase of 5.2% to 26.2p
- Promising new product launches including our stevia-based, natural, no-calorie sweetener, TASTEVA® Stevia Sweetener and salt reduction product, SODA-LO® Salt Microspheres
In Speciality Food Ingredients, we expect to deliver good sales and profit growth with volume growth across all major product categories.
In Bulk Ingredients, against a backdrop of continued corn price volatility, improved bulk sweetener unit margins in the US are expected to offset a softer start in US bulk sweetener volumes and lower isoglucose margins in Europe. Profits within Bulk Ingredients are expected to be more evenly distributed between the first and second half than in the prior year.