The weak pound continued to boost specialty chemicals group Croda at the start of the year, helping sales to grow faster than expected in the first quarter.

Reported revenues increased by 19.1 per cent, to £365.5m, compared to consensus forecasts of around £343m. The company also benefited from the later timing of Easter.

The East Yorkshire-based company, which joined the FTSE 100 last year, produces ingredients for products ranging from skincare treatments to food additives to wooden floor coatings, with major customers including L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble.

Less than 5 per cent of its revenues are generated in the UK, according to estimates from FactSet.

When the benefit of currency movements was removed, sales were 4.9 per cent higher than the equivalent period last year.

Sales at Croda’s life sciences arm were 1.9 per cent lower than the first quarter last year, but its personal care business returned to growth and its performance technologies business generated “exceptional” growth of 11.7 per cent.

The company said it has been “encouraged” by the first quarter performance, and said it is on track to “deliver continued profitable progress” through the rest of the year, though it expects the strong performance technologies growth to moderate.

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