- Chemicals company Croda reported a fall in annual profit as revenue growth was stifled by challenging market conditions in its personal care and performance technologies businesses.

For the year ended 31 December 2020, pre-tax profit fell 10.9% to £269.5 million year-on-year as sales increased by 0.9% to £1,390.3m.

Price/mix was 3.0% lower, reflecting adverse mix in personal care and performance technologies in challenging market conditions, the company said.

The company increased its full year ordinary dividend to 91.0p from 90.0p last year.

Looking ahead, the company said while continued COVID-19 restrictions make the near-term outlook for elements of its consumer care and performance technologies sectors difficult to predict, 2020 sales exit rates were encouraging with consumer and industrial end markets showing signs of recovery. Life Sciences is expected to remain strong.

'The benefits of recovery, together with the full year impact of Avanti, Iberchem and our Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contract, are expected to support profitable growth across the business,' it added.

In a separate announcement, Croda agreed to acquire the worldwide business activities of Alban Muller, a natural and botanical ingredients supplier, for a total consideration of €25 million.

'The acquisition expands Croda's portfolio of sustainable active ingredients for customers in personal care markets, complementing our industry-leading positions with Sederma and Crodarom,' the company siad.

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