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26 Feb 2019 | 07:33

Croda lines up special dividend; stronger pound weighs on profits

Chemical company Croda proposed a £150m special dividend Tuesday after reporting a modest uptick in profits as a strong pound weighed on performance.

For the full-year ended 31 December, reported pre-tax profit rose 1.2% to £317.8m and revenue sales rose 1.0% to £1.39bn from a year earlier.

The core business – made up of personal care, life sciences and performance technologies – was weighed down by subdued performance in the performance technologies segment, which generated flat growth year over year.

Excluding the impact of currency, profit before tax was up 6.2% and sales up 3.8%.

The company proposed a full year ordinary dividend increase of 7.4% to 87.0 pence per share and special dividend of £150m. '2018 was another year of strong progress for Croda. We are 'Growing the Core' - once again delivering top line growth at industry leading margins to achieve superior returns, said Steve Foots, Croda's Chief Executive Officer,.

'We are 'Stretching the Growth', accelerating delivery across our markets through relentless innovation and by investing in disruptive technologies and exciting new growth opportunities. All core sectors contributed to this performance, demonstrating Croda's three legs of growth.'

'Cash generation strengthened and we have proposed the return of a further £150m through a special dividend to shareholders, in addition to an increased ordinary dividend.'

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