Sales are up for Croda on the back of high demand in personal care but predicting future trends remains difficult for the UK-based chemicals company.
Overall sales for the company in the second quarter of 2010 (up to June 30) were up 38.4 per cent, coming in at ₤268.6m (€319.7m).
Sales for the Consumer Care division during the quarter, which includes the home care, crop care and personal care segments, stood at ₤136.3m, up 27.3 per cent compared to 2009’s second quarter results, with the personal care segment showing the biggest sales increase out of the three business areas.
While there were significant increases (₤132.3m compared to ₤87.8m) in Industrial Specialities in the second quarter compared to last year’s figures, this shows recovery from last year’s recession more than a significant increase in new customers or inventories, Croda said.
Operating profit in the quarter also looked healthy, with profits increasing 114.6 per cent from £25.4m to £54.5m.
Looking ahead, the company said the positive trend had continued into the first half of 2010 but warned visibility was still very limited.
“…with only six to eight weeks of visibility in our order books, it is hard to predict whether this trend will continue over the medium term,” Croda said in a statement.
Growth through investment in facilities
Nonetheless, the company has said it is confident it will continue with substantial sales growth, in the region of 5-10 per cent per year, with profit growth exceeding sales.
Continued investment in plants and facilities, as well as selective acquisitions, were highlighted by the company as ways to drive growth, including a new cosmetics polymer plant.
At the Rawcliffe Bridge site, the plant is expected to be complete early 2012. Applications for the resulting ingredients include skin care, hair care and health care which the company has highlighted as growth areas.
Lanolin production and its derivatives is also being optimised at the Rawcliffe Bridge sites, and Croda claims the new process is faster and gives a significant yield improvement.
Commenting on the results chairman Martin Flower said: “ This is another very impressive performance that highlights once again the quality of the business…The Group is now benefiting in full from the acquisition of Uniqema in 2006 as well as from initiatives taken to reduce costs.”