- Chemicals company Croda said growth will be second-half weighted after annual profit slipped on weaker sales in its core business amid 'subdued' market conditions.

For the 12 months ended 31 December, pre-tax profits fell 2.5% to £170.6m from a year earlier, while sales were up 2.4% to £657.9m.

Core business sales were 2.3% lower and operating profit 1.8% lower.

Profit was also dragged lower by an exceptional charge of £10.7m to deliver cost savings.

The company's full-year dividend was increased by 3.4% to 90p a share.

'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,' Croda said.

At 8:21am: [LON:CRDA] Croda International PLC share price was -43p at 4877p

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