Tate & Lyle has released its Interim Management Statement covering the period from 1 April 2009 to 30 June 2009 – the first quarter of the financial year.
At Tate & Lyle's recent AGM, chairman Sir David Lees made the following statement:
"The Group has made an encouraging start to the financial year," he said. "Profit before tax and exceptional items from continuing operations in the first quarter, after the benefit of favourable exchange translation, was in line with the comparative period and ahead of our expectations. Results have continued to benefit from cost reduction measures taken across the business.
"In our Food & Industrial Ingredients divisions, demand from food and beverage customers was stable, and profits from value-added ingredients continued to grow, demonstrating the resilience of this sector. Sucralose traded above our expectations. Demand for industrial starches has remained weak.
"Net debt of £1,068m at 30 June 2009 has reduced from £1,231m at 31 March 2009. Free cash flow from continuing operations was more than £40m, and there was a material benefit from exchange translation. Capital expenditure was below depreciation, and we have maintained our strong focus on working capital management.
"As indicated in the Central section of our announcement made on 28 May 2009, net interest was higher due to an increase in the pension charge and the suspension of the capitalisation of interest at Fort Dodge, although the impact of this on earnings was mitigated by a lower tax rate, principally due to the geographic mix of profits.
"As previously communicated in our announcement made on 28 May 2009, we have recognised an exceptional charge related to the decision to mothball the sucralose plant in McIntosh, Alabama. This charge totalled £56m."
Source: Tate & Lyle
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