Chairman Sir Peter Gershon (pictured) said Tate & Lyle had made a sound start to the year.
“In our Speciality Food Ingredients division, demand patterns for speciality sweeteners and starches have remained steady. We have also continued to experience solid growth in sucralose sales volumes.”
Corn sweetener volumes were “somewhat above the prior year period”, reflecting firm demand for HFCS in Mexico and the benefit of increased European capacity following completion of a recent expansion in Slovakia, he said.
However, industrial starch performance in the Americas and Europe was marginally lower, with weaker margins (reflecting overcapacity in the industry) partially offset by higher volumes.
Ethanol margins had improved slightly, although markets remained depressed, he added.
Investec Securities and Panmure Gordon analysts said the figures were in line with expectations.