Croda H1 sales up to £715m despite US-China trade hit

Croda International HQ in Snaith, East Yorkshire

East Yorkshire-based chemicals giant Croda International said on Wednesday its personal care business had been impacted by the trade war between Beijing and Washington as it reported results for the six months ended June 30.

Croda reported a 2.7% fall in pretax profit to £166.2 million due to “higher interest charge, following special dividend and previous investments.”

Sales edged 1.7% higher to £714.7 million for the period.

Croda shares fell almost 4%.

Croda International’s customers include Procter & Gamble, Unilever and L’Oreal.

The firm reported an “excellent” performance in life sciences, driven by the strength of its health and crop care platforms with sales up 13%.

Croda CEO Steve Foots said: “We have delivered a resilient performance in challenging market conditions and against strong prior year comparatives, testament to Croda’s focused strategy.

“Although Personal Care was significantly impacted by the US/China trade dispute and new sales legislation in China, we saw growth across the rest of the sector.

“An excellent performance in Life Sciences ensured overall progress in consumer markets, whilst Performance Technologies slowed in line with the wider industry, due to softer end markets in automotive and polymers.

“We have a strong pipeline, a robust business model and a strategy to leverage innovation, customer intimacy and sustainability.

“Life Sciences is expected to show continued progress and in Personal Care we anticipate the US remaining subdued while Asia recovers progressively.

“Performance Technologies is likely to remain softer until end markets improve.

“Based on the current challenging economic conditions remaining unchanged, overall we expect a slight improvement in performance in the second half of the year versus the prior year comparator.”