Weak pound boosts
Croda as half-year
profits hit £148.5m

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The weak pound h​as​ boost​ed​ profits at ​natural chemicals maker Croda​ International​ although it said it is cautious about the future amid the current economic uncertainty.

The​ Snaith-based firm said half year pre-tax profit​s​ ​rose nine per cent to £148.5​m. They were up six per cent to £144m on a constant currency basis.

The pound has fallen by around 10 per cent against the dollar since the EU referendum.

​Chief executive Steve Foots said: “​Despite subdued demand in the first half of 2016, we have delivered a strong bottom line performance, improving our operating margin through a richer product mix, whilst also increasing profit and the dividend.

“Although we remain cautious given the continued economic uncertainty, we expect to deliver further top and bottom line progress in the second half of 2016.”

He said that the company is on track to deliver its expectations for the full year, in constant currency terms, while sterling weakness following the referendum will actually benefit its reported results.

Sales growth of 2.1 per cent in constant currency was driven by organic growth from skin care products, sun care ingredients, high purity health care products and crop delivery systems.

Analysts at Liberum said in a note: “These are credible results but follow the previous formula of margin expansion combined with a dull top line.

“The 0.5 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in personal care in particular is disappointing.​”