Croda sales +10.4% to £1.4bn; profit at record £320m

Croda International HQ in Snaith, East Yorkshire

Snaith, East Yorkshire-based speciality chemicals giant Croda International said its sales rose 10.4% to £1.37 billion in 2017 and adjusted profit before tax rose 11.1% to a record £320.3 million.

Croda, which has a stock market value of around £6 billion, held unsuccessful merger talks with US rival Ashland Global Holdings Inc earlier this month.

Croda said it will continue to look for acquisitions in the year ahead.

With around 95% of its sales made outside the UK, the weakness of Sterling in the first half of the year benefited Croda’s results.

The firm said its sales growth was also driven “by ongoing focus on premium, faster growth niches in personal care, life sciences and performance technologies.”

Croda CEO Steve Foots said: “2017 was a year of significant progress, with record profits and strong organic sales growth.

“All core sectors and major regions contributed to this growth, demonstrating that our strategy continues to deliver and reinforcing that Croda has three strong legs of growth.

“Our focus on premium, faster growing market niches and high quality technologies delivered consistent top and bottom line growth.

“Innovation continued at record levels, with sales of New and Protected Products increasing for the fifth consecutive year.

“We continued to invest in fast growth technologies and expanded our successful Open Innovation programme, initiatives that will drive future growth.

“We have entered 2018 with momentum and a platform on which to deliver long-term growth.

“In the year ahead, we will continue to invest in fast growth technologies, both organically and by acquisition; in R&D, through our successful Open Innovation and Smart Partnering programmes; in manufacturing, through improved operating capabilities; and in our people.

“We are confident of delivering continued progress in 2018.”