In line with our usual practice, Tate & Lyle PLC issues the following update for the year ending 31 March 2013 ahead of the announcement of the full year results on 30 May 2013.
Since the interim management statement in February, the Group has continued to perform solidly and in line with our expectations. We continue to expect to deliver modest progress for the full financial year.
Full year operating performance—continuing operations
In Speciality Food Ingredients, we will achieve solid sales growth for the full year with the rate of volume growth in the second half slightly ahead of that achieved during the first half. While sucralose volume growth has continued at more normal run rates in the fourth quarter, volumes for the full year, as anticipated, will be slightly lower than the prior year. Operating profit in this division will be broadly in line with last year as a result of the step change in fixed costs associated with our business transformation initiatives.
Within Bulk Ingredients, a good underlying performance from sweeteners in both the U.S. and Europe is expected to more than offset the impact of the costs associated with handling higher levels of aflatoxin following the severe drought in the U.S. in 2012 and continued challenging market conditions in U.S. ethanol.
The recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar against sterling will result in net debt being somewhat higher than previously anticipated due to the translation of U.S. dollar denominated debt. As a result, net debt at 31 March 2013 is now expected to be slightly higher than the level reported at the end of last year.