Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Tate & Lyle Plc, the maker of low- calorie sweetener Splenda, maintained its forecast for a year of “profitable growth” after fiscal first-half sales of U.S. corn sweeteners and sucralose products jumped.
Tate & Lyle, which relies on specialty food ingredients for more than 50 percent of operating profit, said today that volume growth was “particularly strong” in sucralose at lower selling prices, although demand is expected to return to “more normal levels” during the second half.
U.S. demand for corn sweeteners, used to make processed foods, has been “strong” in the six months ending tomorrow, the London-based company said in a statement. Profitability slid in Europe, although the drag from more expensive corn was offset by higher volumes. Citric-acid sales will be “somewhat lower” in the first half.
“The encouraging start to the financial year has continued during the second quarter, with solid demand within a number of our markets in both specialty food ingredients and bulk ingredients, assisted by strong co-product returns,” Chief Executive Officer Javed Ahmed said in the statement.
Income generated from so-called co-products, which include corn oil and animal feed, will be about double the year-earlier figure, the company said. Co-products contributed 16 million pounds ($25 million) in additional income in the last full fiscal year, it said. Tate & Lyle’s group forecast excludes the products as well as the effects of currency fluctuations.
Tate & Lyle, under Ahmed’s leadership, has sold its sugar interests in the European Union and Vietnam and its molasses business to concentrate on more profitable units including specialty food ingredients and bulk ingredients.
--Editors: Tom Lavell, David Risser
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