Jul 28, 2011
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Croda says price increases boost profit; CEO to retire

Jul 28, 2011

July 28 - Croda posted a 30 percent rise in first-half pretax profit as it increased prices to pass on higher costs of raw materials, and the British chemicals firm said CEO Mike Humphrey would retire at the end of the year.

Croda International is a global leader in speciality chemicals, sold to a wide range of markets - from Personal Care to Health Care; from Crop Care to Coatings and Polymers.

Humphrey, who will remain involved with the business as senior adviser, will be succeeded by Steve Foots, president of Croda Europe, on Jan. 1, 2012.

The FTSE 250 company, which makes chemicals for cosmetics, healthcare and home care industries, set an interim dividend of 24.75 pence, up from 9.75 pence last year.

"The second half of the year has started well and we expect to make further progress compared with 2010 through the remainder of the year," Croda said in a statement.

Croda, whose key customers include Estee Lauder , L'Oreal and Syngenta , said first-half pretax profit was 124.8 million pounds ($203.9 million) from continuing operations, compared with 95.9 million pounds a year ago.

Sales from continuing operations rose 9 percent to 559.6 million pounds.

Shares of Croda closed at 1,926 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the company at about 2.70 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Anne Pallivathuckal in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)

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