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By
Reuters
Published
Feb 17, 2009
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Croda FY pretax rises 78.3 pct despite downturn

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 17, 2009


* FY pretax profit 98.4 mln stg vs 55.2 mln last yr

* Says confident of making further progress in 2009

* Strong performance driven by focus on resilient markets (Adds details)

LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Britain's Croda (CRDA.L), which makes ingredients for cosmetics and personal care products, reported on Tuesday full-year pretax profits up 78.3 percent to 98.4 million pounds ($140.7 million) in a difficult environment.

The company, whose ingredients are used by companies such as Estee Lauder (EL.N) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N), reported sales for the year up 18.8 percent to 956.4 million pounds, and announced a total dividend per share up 25.4 percent to 19.75 pence.

In a statement, Chairman Martin Flower said the company performed strongly in difficult trading conditions because it had chosen to operate in markets that had "intrinsic growth".

The company saw its strongest growth in its crop care, healthcare and personal care segments.

"Ten years ago we decided to focus on markets that had intrinsic growth in good times and bad, and it is this strategic focus that has enabled Croda to weather the storms and produce records sales and profits," he said.

He added that 2008 was the "most tumultuous and difficult year in living memory for the global chemical industry".

Pretax profits were boosted by glycerine prices and currency translation, and favourable 2007 comparatives, when the company booked a 5.6 million pounds charge.

Croda said in a statement it was confident of making further progress in 2009, reiterating the outlook from its third-quarter results. ($1=.6994 Pound) (Reporting by Ben Deighton; editing by Simon Jessop)

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