UPDATED: Confident Croda delivers record profits

Steve Foots of CrodaSteve Foots of Croda
Steve Foots of Croda
CRODA International, the speciality chemical company, said it had achieved a record-breaking year due to its 'relentless' commitment to innovation.

Croda has shown its commitment to Yorkshire by announcing a £27m investment into its Hull plant, which will double its capacity.

Steve Foots, Croda’s chief executive, said the company had provided a long term boost for the region by deciding to invest in Hull instead of China.

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In the year ended December 31 2016, Croda’s adjusted profit before tax was up by 13.2 per cent at £288.3m. Sales grew by 15 per cent to £1.24bn.

Croda, which employs around 800 of its 4,200 staff in Yorkshire, said it saw good underlying sales growth across its core business in Asia and Europe.

Mr Foots added: “Croda has delivered a record profit in 2016. We have grown sales through strategic acquisitions and organic growth in premium market niches, driving bottom line performance through high value products and relentless innovation.

“Our innovation pipeline is exciting, with sales from new and protected products increasing for the fourth consecutive year and strong momentum across all market sectors.

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“We continue to expand in higher growth markets, with Asia the stand out performer. We are growing with regional and smaller customers.”

Mr Foots said Croda’s commitment to innovation was “unstoppable” and it was also well-positioned to connect with its customers digitally. He said the company’s priorities for 2017 are to drive profitability through a greater focus on premium, faster growth niches.

Mr Foots added: “Croda is a strongly cash generative business with substantial balance sheet capacity.

“We will remain disciplined in both our capital allocation and in driving returns for shareholders. We are confident of delivering continued progress in our performance in 2017.”