Tate & Lyle reports flat profit but keeps investors sweet by sticking to guidance

Tate & Lyle Sugar Refinery General Views
Tate & Lyle plans to save $100m with a four-year business simplification plan

Tate & Lyle posted flat profits and revenue in its half-year results today, but sweetened the news for investors by maintaining its full-year outlook and fractionally improving its interim dividend.

Profit before tax stood at £166m for the six months to the end of September, flat compared to the same period last year, while sales from continuing operations fell one per cent to £1.38bn.

Earnings per share increased five per cent to 27.9p, benefiting from lower finance costs and a lower adjusted effective tax rate, while dividend per share grew to 8.6p, up from 8.4p last year.

Shares ticked upwards by over one per cent.

The FTSE 250 group is currently tightening its belt, looking to save $100m (£76.3m) over four years with a business simplification plan.

However, it will cost $40m to implement the plan, which will see Tate & Lyle consolidate transportation and marketing teams and deploy an automated transport system in the US.

Profits slipped in the company's commodity division, but chief executive Nick Hampton hailed "solid" underlying performance from sweeteners and starches as well as 16 per cent growth in food and drink sales in Asia Pacific.

Food and drink profit grew three per cent to £77m but profits for Tate & Lyle's primary products fell six per cent year on year to £85m.

"With our clear direction, strong financial position and a strengthened leadership team driving greater pace and agility across the organisation, we remain well placed to realise the growth potential of our business," said Hampton, adding that the outlook for the full year to the end of March is unchanged.