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LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Tate & Lyle, the British food ingredients maker, has again raised its expectations for the full financial year, citing a strong profit performance in its third quarter.
The company, which sells corn syrup to food and drink makers as well as other speciality ingredients, said on Thursday it expected the "group's performance in constant currency for the full year to be modestly ahead" of what it expected when reporting its half-year results in November.
The company's update did not reveal any figures, but said third-quarter profit in constant currencies was higher in both of its main business divisions, speciality food ingredients and bulk ingredients.
Tate & Lyle in November raised its expectations for full-year profit after a better than expected first half helped by strong demand for soft drinks in the United States and a weak British pound.
This "continues a sequence of three confident and expectation-raising quarters from Tate," said Jefferies analysts, adding: "It's gratifying to see a management team who had their reputations on the line in 2014/15 now back in the business of apparently effortless progress."
The company's speciality food ingredients, excluding its "food systems" and sucralose businesses, saw profit rise even as underlying volume was flat. North American sales volume fell but was "robust" in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In bulk ingredients, North American sweetener sales were strong.
The company said its 2017 bulk sweetener pricing round was now substantially complete and was expected to deliver "modest" margin gains in the fourth quarter. (Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)