Tate & Lyle, the world's biggest sugar company, has unveiled a sharp increase in profits driven by strong sales in its sweetners and starch division, together with a recent round of disposals and cost cuts - the BBC has reported.
The company said on Friday that pre-tax profits for the year to late March climbed to £159 million (€247m), an increase of 40 per cent compared with the previous year.
The figure came in ahead of the £151 million to £153 million range forecast by analysts.
The company added that it had cut its net debts to £639 million, from £963 million one year earlier.
Tate & Lyle chairman Sir David Lees said the company is facing the current financial year "with increased confidence." Tate & Lyle's performance last year was hit hard by an increase in energy costs and disappointing results from its US sugar operations, Domino Sugar and Western Sugar. These companies have now been sold, along with eight smaller underperforming subsidiaries.
The company said it had also exceeded its annual target of cutting energy consumption of 3 per cent for the second consecutive year.
Tate & Lyle said its sweetener and starch businesses performed strongly during the year, while flat demand from the fizzy drinks industry weighed on sales of fructose corn syrup.