In accordance with our usual practice, Tate & Lyle PLC issues the following update for the year ended March 31, 2014, ahead of the announcement of full year results on May 29, 2014.
In line with the guidance issued in our interim management statement on Feb. 13, 2014, we continue to expect Group adjusted profit before tax for the year ended March 31, 2014, at constant rates of exchange, to be broadly in line with the comparative period.
Full year operating performance – continuing operations
In Speciality Food Ingredients, we continue to expect both volume and sales growth to be in line with the wider speciality food ingredients market, with strong volume growth in emerging markets and Europe partially offset by the U.S. As expected, operating profit growth in this division has been held back by the more competitive market for SPLENDA® Sucralose.
Within Bulk Ingredients, we continue to expect operating profit for the full year to be lower than the comparative period as a result of the soft beverage season in the U.S., which reduced demand for liquid corn sweeteners, and lower returns from co-products. The protracted severe cold weather in the US has also held back the performance of this division somewhat in the final quarter, despite the actions taken by our manufacturing and supply chain teams who succeeded in partially mitigating the full impact of this on our operations.
As noted in the February interim management statement, the payment for new crop corn held in our silos has resulted in a net cash outflow in the final quarter. As a result, net debt at March 31, 2014, will, as expected, be higher than the level reported at Dec. 31, 2013 (£253 million).