Croda first-half sales up 21% to £1.1 billion

Croda International HQ in Snaith, East Yorkshire

Croda International, the Snaith, East Yorkshire-based FTSE 100 speciality chemicals giant, said its sales rose 21% to £1.127 billion in the six months to June 30, 2022, and first-half profit before tax soared 212% to £636.5 million, including a £360.6 million profit on strategic divestment.

Croda recently completed the divestment of the majority of its performance technologies and industrial chemicals businesses to a wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill Inc.

It said the divestment completed its transition to a “pure-play Consumer Care and Life Sciences company.”

Adjusted first-half profit before tax rose 26% to £288.8 million.

Interim ordinary dividend rose 8% to 47p.

Croda CEO Steve Foots said: “This is an excellent first half performance, with record sales, margin and profit driven by the strength of our operating model, which enabled continued recovery of unprecedented cost inflation, and the ongoing successful implementation of our strategy.

“A strong Consumer Care performance saw expanded sales of our sustainable technologies, increased geographic coverage in fragrances and margin expansion.

“The increasing depth and diversity of our Life Sciences portfolio was evident in a strong result in Crop Protection, whilst Health Care built on an exceptional 2021 performance and is developing an exciting pipeline of non-COVID applications.

“With the successful divestment of the majority of our industrials business, our transition to a pure-play Consumer Care and Life Sciences business continues.

“Croda is becoming a stronger margin, higher return, less cyclical and lower carbon intensive business. Our focused platform and strategy are enhancing both our full year expectations and our medium-term growth prospects.”   

In its outlook, Croda said: “Croda has delivered strong growth in the first half year, with profit ahead of expectations.

“As a result, we expect full year adjusted profit before tax to be modestly ahead of previous expectations.

“Growth in the second half year is expected to moderate in consumer markets, together with lower sales in lipid systems on reduced COVID vaccine demand, with full year total lipid sales now expected to be US$150m, compared with US$230m in 2021.

“The improved full year outlook reflects the enhanced strength and breadth of Croda’s portfolio, including a more resilient Consumer Care growth platform, strong ongoing demand in Crop Care, albeit against a tougher second half comparator, and Health Care enjoying good growth overall.

“Growth beyond 2022 is further supported by a strong innovation pipeline, notably in non-COVID Health Care applications, and our targeted capital investment programme.”