Record first half performance for chemicals company

Chemicals business Croda International has reported “excellent underlying growth across all sectors” in its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.

The East Yorkshire-headquartered firm recorded sales of £934m in 2021 (2020: £672.9m) along with adjusted 2021 pre-tax profits of £229.5m (2020: £152.5m).

The company’s sales are now well above 2019 levels, up over 10% in underlying terms.

Croda says its 39% sales increase was driven by by organic growth and acquisitions, adding that it has over £40m invested in health care capacity expansion this half year, reinforcing its leading niche positions.

Steve Foots

Steve Foots, chief executive officer, said: “Our record first half performance reflects the impact of our strategic acceleration and investments, supported by improving customer demand across all regions and sectors.

“This has been delivered through excellent growth in our existing businesses, successful delivery from our recent acquisitions and continued success in building our Life Sciences platform.

“With the strategic review of our Performance Technologies business well underway, we continue our transition to becoming a pure play consumer facing ingredients company.

“I am excited by Croda’s increasing opportunities in emerging technology platforms and faster growth markets, where demand for sustainable solutions will drive our progress going forward.

“We are investing in organic and inorganic expansion, continuing our relentless innovation and focusing on sustainability across everything we do.”

In its outlook statement, Croda says it expects underlying growth across all sectors to continue in the second half year, driven by consumer demand.

The business notes: “Together with the benefit of recent acquisitions opening up new fast growth markets, we expect continued strong demand for lipid systems and are increasing guidance for sales this year to at least US$200m.

“We now expect 2021 full year adjusted profit before tax to be significantly ahead of current expectations.

“Subject to there being no material change in current market conditions, we expect a similar phasing of profit between the first and second half periods as seen in previous years.

“Demand for COVID-19 solution ingredients remains uncertain beyond the short term and the current level of sales could moderate; however, we expect to see an ongoing expansion in the range of applications for lipid systems in vaccines and therapeutic drugs over the medium term.”