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Croda International (CRDA)

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Tuesday 04 November, 2008

Croda International

Q3 Trading Statement

RNS Number : 3239H
Croda International PLC
04 November 2008

4 November 2008    

Croda International Plc

Third Quarter Trading Statement

Commenting on trading for the third quarter ending 30 September 2008Martin Flower, Chairman of Croda International Plc, said:

'I am pleased to report that the very strong trading performance seen in the first half has continued in the third quarter.

Global demand for our core products remains robust with the Personal Care and Crop Care sectors showing particularly strong growth. For the three months ended 30 September 2008, continuing sales were £246.7m (2007: £197.1m), up 25.2% versus the corresponding period last year. Continuing pre-tax profit was 73.2% higher at £24.6m (2007: £14.2m) due to the sales increase, synergies realised from the acquisition of Uniqemafavourable currency translation and a reduced interest charge.

Significant raw material inflation continued throughout the period which was fully recovered through price increases. On a constant currency basis, our average selling price per tonne increased 20.5% versus the corresponding period last year. This reflects not only price increases but also favourable mix from shedding low quality business and the higher sales value of the turnover formerly carried out by third party distributors. In addition, favourable currency translation boosted turnover by 12.7%.

Consumer Care volumes were ahead of last year but overall volumes were down as a result of our continuing strategy to shed low margin commodity business together with slight weakness in Plastics Additives and Polymer and Coatings sales which reduced Industrial Specialities volumes.

Operating margins were 1.3 percentage points higher than the corresponding period last year. The lower Industrial Specialities volumes meant that the allocation of overheads to Consumer Care was higher and this, plus the level of seasonal maintenance work undertaken in the period, had the effect of slightly reducing sequential and comparative Consumer Care operating margins. As anticipated, Industrial Speciality margins were well ahead of last year but below those seen in the first half due in part to glycerine pricing. A detailed breakdown of the third quarter's results is set out below.

Record sales in September, raw material inflation, restructuring costs and a £6.0m tax payment on the sale of Chicago combined to produce a cash outflow of £17.0m in the quarter despite reduced physical working capital and strong profits. At 30 September 2008, net debt was £364.7m with £16.0m of the year to date increase due to the effects of volatile exchange rates on the translation of our opening Euro and Dollar debt at closing exchange rates.

Whilst we recognise 
the uncertainty relating to global trade at present, demand remains robust in all our core markets and we are confident of making further progress, both in the fourth quarter and in 2009'


For further information please contact:

Mike Humphrey
Group Chief Executive
01405 860551
Sean Christie
Group Finance Director
01405 860551
Charlie Armitstead
Financial Dynamics
0207 831 3113


The company will host a conference call for analysts at 8.00am today. 

Please dial +44 20 8609 0582 to gain access to the call.

9 months
Consumer Care
Industrial Specialities
Continuing Turnover
Consumer Care
Industrial Specialities
Continuing operating profit
Operating Margin
Continuing pre tax profit

Profit after tax from discontinued operations

Analysis of Q3 turnover uplift
Average selling price
Currency translation
Continuing turnover increase



This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange