May 26, 2016 / 7:01 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK's Tate & Lyle posts higher full-year profit

(Adds details, analyst comment)

May 26 (Reuters) - British food ingredients maker Tate & Lyle on Thursday posted a 5 percent rise in full-year profit and said progress in the 2017 financial year would be in line with its expectations.

Tate said sales in its speciality food ingredients business rose 4 percent to 897 million pounds, while its bulk ingredients division saw a 1 percent drop in sales, hurt by a fall in corn costs and weak ethanol prices in the U.S.

Speciality ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners and dietary fibres, involve special technology or patents and are therefore much more profitable than undifferentiated bulk ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup.

Analysts at Jefferies said full-year results were in line, despite bigger-than-expected headwinds from ethanol and central costs, and added that the “stage is nicely set for a stronger financial year 2017”.

Central costs, which include head office costs, treasury and reinsurance activities, rose by 11 million pounds in the year to 46 million pounds.

The company said adjusted profit before tax rose to 193 million pounds in the year to March 31, from 184 million pounds a year earlier. Sales were up 1 percent to 2.35 billion pounds.

Tate in February said it expected full-year profit to be “modestly below” a year earlier. (Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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