Resilient performance for listed chemicals business

Speciality chemical business, Croda International, has recorded adjusted sales of £1.3bn in its results for the year ended 31 December 2020, a 2.2% rise on the previous year.

The East Yorkshire-based firm also reports adjusted pre-tax profits of £300.6m, compared to £322.1m in 2019, as it also announced it has agreed to acquire the worldwide business activities of Alban Muller, for a total consideration of €25m/£21.6m.

With an annual revenue of €18m/£15.6m for the year to 30 June 2020, Alban Muller is based in France and specialises in the creation and supply of natural and botanical ingredients for the global beauty industry.

The acquisition expands Croda’s portfolio of sustainable active ingredients for customers in personal care markets, complementing its positions with Sederma and Crodarom.

Chief executive officer, Steve Foots said: “The acquisition of Alban Muller enhances Croda’s position as a world leader in natural and botanical actives, helping us meet the increasing demand from customers looking for ingredients of natural origin to improve the sustainability profile of their products.”

The acquisition follows what the firm notes as a steady month-on-month sales improvement in the second half in Covid-impacted sectors. Underlying quarter four sales were in line with the prior year in Personal Care, with a return to growth in Performance Technologies.

The firm states  it has experienced only a “limited” adverse financial impact from Covid-19, attributing this to the commitment of its employees, the strength of its product portfolio, global footprint and flexible manufacturing base.

And it reports accelerating strategic delivery, with almost £1bn of organic and inorganic investments including Avanti and Iberchem acquisitions, part-funded by an equity placing raising gross proceeds of £627m. 

The business has highlighted an outstanding performance in Life Sciences, with record sales and adjusted operating profit.

Foots, said: “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.”