Day Ahead: Tate & Lyle updates investors after profit warning


The City will be keeping a close eye on progress at starches and sweeteners group Tate & Lyle (LON:TATE) on Friday.

As the company enters a close period, a trading statement will give investors a clue about how the business has fared amid lower prices for its sucralose sweetener.

Tate warned in February that its annual profit would miss expectations and instead match last year’s adjusted profit of £329mln.

“We now expect full-year profits for the year ending 31 March 2014 to be broadly in line with the comparative period,” it said at the time, citing operating performance in the third quarter and lower SPLENDA Sucralose pricing in the final quarter.

City analysts took the red pen to their forecasts following the profit warning, which triggered a heavy fall from the share price and caused its relegation from the FTSE 100 to the mid-cap index.

JP Morgan Cazenove said the pricing fall soured the report and it now forecasts profit from sucralose to fall by 40% in full year 2015.

But the broker says the investment case remains intact. It has cut its price target to 825p from 900p previously.

That is still some way above the current price of 665p.

Deutsche Bank repeated the move, but lowered its target to 900p.

“Despite the very disappointing news on Sucralose pricing published in February, we continue to see the balance of a steady bulk division and fast growing ingredients segments as very attractive,” the German broker said in a note on Wednesday.

Significant announcements expected

Trading statement: Tate & Lyle (LON:TATE).

Final results: Hydrodec (LON:HYR), Johnston Press (LON:JPR), Judges Scientific (LON:JDG), Cathay International Holdings (LON:CTI), Chesnara (LON:CSN), Optimal Payments (LON:OPAY), St Modwen Properties (LON:SMP).

Interim results: Imperial Innovations (LON:IVO).

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