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Tate & Lyle profit up but sales fall

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LONDON (Reuters) – British food ingredients firm Tate & Lyle <TATE.L> on Thursday reported higher annual profits, helped by gains in all its business units and lower costs.

The company, which sells corn syrup and other ingredients to food and drink makers, said profit before tax rose 23 percent to 286 million pounds in the year ended March 31.

Sales however fell 2 percent to 2.7 billion pounds, hurt by a 10 percent drop in sales of sucralose sweetener.

In recent years, Tate has been putting more focus on specialty food ingredients, which carry higher margins than its much larger and more commoditised business of bulk ingredients.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Jason Neely)

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