Croda ups dividend despite sales slipping to £1.3bn

Croda International HQ in East Riding, Yorkshire

Snaith, East Yorkshire-based speciality chemicals giant Croda International said on Tuesday its reported sales slipped 0.7% to £1.37 billion and reported profit before tax fell 4.9% to £302.3 million for the year to December 31, 2019.

Nonetheless, Croda increased its full-year dividend 3.4% to 90p per share.

Croda shares fell about 3.2% to 4,762p to give the firm a current stock market value of around £6.3 billion.

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

Croda CEO Steve Foots said: “In 2019, we delivered a resilient performance with a strong margin maintained and increased cash flow, despite subdued market conditions.

“This is testament to Croda’s focused strategy and strong business model.

“An excellent performance in Life Sciences was reflected in sales growth and margin improvement.

“Sales in Personal Care were significantly impacted by a slower US market and by new legislation in China, but conditions improved in line with our expectations in the final quarter, and sector profitability increased further.

“Performance Technologies slowed in line with the wider sector, due to weak industrial demand.

“In the year ahead, subject to trading conditions remaining similar, we expect to make further progress in our consumer markets, whilst demand in industrial markets is expected to remain weak but stable.

“Our growth will be second half weighted …”

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