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FTSE 100 chemicals company Croda (LON:CRDA) saw its share price fall by 1.50% to 4,846p (as of 15:00 GMT) as pre-tax profits for 2019 dropped by 2.8%. The life sciences division continued to grow while performance technologies suffered due to poor automotive industry demand.
CEO Steve Foots commented: “In 2019, we delivered a resilient performance with a strong margin maintained and increased cash flow, despite subdued market conditions. This is testament to Croda’s focused strategy and strong business model.
“An excellent performance in Life Sciences was reflected in sales growth and margin improvement. Sales in Personal Care were significantly impacted by a slower US market and by new legislation in China, but conditions improved in line with our expectations in the final quarter, and sector profitability increased further. Performance Technologies slowed in line with the wider sector, due to weak industrial demand.
“In the year ahead, subject to trading conditions remaining similar, we expect to make further progress in our consumer markets, whilst demand in industrial markets is expected to remain weak but stable. Our growth will be second half weighted“.