Croda, Yorkshire chemical giant, pays £122m dividend

Croda International HQ in Snaith, East Yorkshire

Snaith, East Yorkshire-based speciality chemicals giant Croda International said on Tuesday it will increase its total dividend to 91p per share or £122.6 million as it reported “resilient” results for the year ended December 31, 2020, showing sales rose 0.9% to £1.39 billion.

Croda also said it will acquire the worldwide business activities of France’s Alban Muller — a supplier of natural and botanical ingredients for the global beauty industry — for €25 million.

Croda said life science and consumer markets now represent over 80% of its profit generation.

Shares of Croda, a FTSE 100 company, have risen about 35% over the past 12 months to give the firm a stock market value of around £9 billion.

Profit before tax fell 10.9% to £269.5 million.

Croda CEO Steve Foots said: “During a year in which we have all faced unprecedented challenges, the response and commitment of our employees to maintain business continuity and serve our customers has been outstanding.

“The strength and quality of Croda’s business model has been further tested and proven.

“Whilst customer demand in certain end markets has inevitably been impacted by the pandemic, Croda’s financial performance has been resilient.

“Our strong financial platform has allowed us to make further progress positioning the business to focus on the fast growth markets of the future, capitalising on emerging trends in existing and adjacent markets.

“We have made significant investments to accelerate delivery of our strategy, notably the acquisitions of Avanti and Iberchem, so that life science and consumer markets now represent over 80% of Croda’s profit generation.

“My proudest moment in more than 30 years at Croda came with our critical involvement with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, a fantastic example of our Purpose, Smart science to improve lives.

“I am more confident than ever that our recent acquisitions, relentless innovation and emphasis on sustainability will drive our future profitability.”