(Reuters) - British food ingredients maker Tate & Lyle reported lower full-year pretax profit on Thursday and said earnings per share growth will be broadly flat for 2020.
The company said statutory pretax profit fell 16% to 240 million pounds for the year ended March 31, weighed down by higher costs and a weak performance at its primary products business which consists of high-volume sweeteners, industrial starches and fermentation products.
Analysts expected reported pretax profit of 292.4 million pounds, according to Refinitiv IBES.
The company reported an 11% drop in profit from primary products to 148 million pounds.
To counter a tough food and drink market, the provider of sweeteners and other ingredients has said last year it was looking to sharpen its focus on categories including drinks, dairy and soups, while simplifying its business and seeking more innovation, partnerships and acquisitions.
Tate & Lyle completed the sale of its oats ingredients business in March as it no longer meshed with the mainstream food categories on which it focuses, taking a charge of 43 million pounds.
The company also took a 13-million pound restructuring charge as part of the simplification programme.
Tate & Lyle has been focusing more on speciality food ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and other products like starch, which carry higher margins than its much larger and more commoditised business of bulk ingredients.
(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)