- Chemical company Croda International upgraded its outlook on performance after reporting a jump in first-half profit as improving margins bolstered growth.

'We now expect 2021 full year adjusted profit before tax to be significantly ahead of current expectations,' the company said.

The company also said it expects a similar phasing of profit between the first and second half periods as seen in previous years. ​

For the six months ended 30 June 2021, pre-tax profit rose 41% to £204.1 million year-on-year as sales jumped 28.8% to £934.0 million.

The jump in sales reflected continued growth of 'higher value add technology platforms in life sciences, an improved business mix in the personal care business within consumer care, and the positive impact of volume recovery on operating leverage in performance technologies,' the company said.

The interim dividend was hiked up 10% to 43.5 pence a share.

'Demand for COVID-19 solution ingredients remains uncertain beyond the short term and the current level of sales could moderate; however, we expect to see an ongoing expansion in the range of applications for lipid systems in vaccines and therapeutic drugs over the medium term,' the company said.

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