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Croda reports big jump in Q4 results and eyes growth in developing markets

By Simon Pitman , 22-Feb-2011

Personal care ingredients provider Croda International has reported a healthy rise in both sales and profits for its fourth quarter and says future growth will centre on developing markets.

The UK-based company said that fourth quarter sales grew by 13.1 percent to reach £237.4m ($384.3m), while pre-tax profits rose by an even more dynamic 54.3 percent to £48.9m.

Breaking the sales figure down, the figure for the consumer care division, which is largely concerned with personal care, grew by 13.0 percent to £123.4m, while sales for the industrial specialties division grew by 13.3 percent to £113.6m.

Sold Q4 gains come despite strong comparison figures

The strong gains in the fourth quarter came despite the fact that there were also significant gains reported in the corresponding quarter of 2009.

For the full year 2010 sales surpassed the billion mark for the first time ever at £1.002bn, a rise of 21 percent, while profit before tax came in at £192.3bn, representing a rise of just under 112 percent.

The figures were above market expectations and were well received by the investment world, helping stock prices to rise on the London Stock Exchange by approximately 7 percent.

Focus on innovation and growth markets

“This performance demonstrates the solid foundations on which this business is built and our focus on innovation and growth markets has provide a robust platform both in times of global recession and global prosperity,” said Martin Flower, Croda chairman.

Flower went on to explain that the company had managed to boost the performance of its industrial specialties division by replicating the business model employed in its consumer care division.

This model has seen the company concentrate on supplying lower volume and higher quality ingredients that target key growth areas in the market.

2011 off to a good start, but beware of price hikes

The company also stated that so far in 2011 both of its business divisions have got off to a good start, underlining the fact that the success of 2010 is expected to be repeated.

In 2011 Croda is expecting that it will be able to continue its strong growth by concentrating on the emerging markets of Latin America and Asia-Pacific, with a specific emphasis the fast growing markets of India and China.

However, the company did also warn about the continuing threat of rising raw material prices during the course of 2011, and stated that it had already raised its ingredient prices to account for the most recent increases.