- Chemical company Croda warned of limited visibility and reported a fall in first-half profit as lower revenue amid a slowdown in demand.

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, pre-tax profit fell 12.8% to £144.9m on-year as revenue slipped 5.8% to £672.9m.

'Consumer product markets responded more rapidly to lockdown than our industrial end markets,' the company said.

Personal care sales were hardest hit, 8% lower in the half year, while performance technologies sales were 5% lower amid slower industrial demand,particularly in the automotive market, partly offset by increased demand in home care and packaging.

Its personal care segment was adversely impacted by consumer slowdown in second-quarter but encouraging North Asia performance

Following a challenging second quarter, trading 'has stabilised but visibility is limited and the timing of recovery remains unclear,' Croda said.

The company maintained its interim dividend at 39.5 pence a share.

Looking ahead, the company said it anticipated consumer markets significantly impacted by lockdowns to recover more quickly than industrial end markets. 'We expect group margin and cash generation to remain robust,' it added.

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