Tate & Lyle to report on Thursday

Tate & Lyle will announce its full-year figures for 2013 on Thursday. The consensus is for revenue of £3.3 billion and an operating profit of £353 million.

Thursday’s announcement will paint a clearer picture of the company’s position, as the stock hasn’t fully recovered from the February collapse that was caused by a profit warning.

Tate & Lyle made the strategic decision to sell off its loss making sugar refining operation in order to go into the food ingredients business. Splenda sweetener is one of the company’s bestselling brands and sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda, has been accepted by a number of international food safety bodies, but concerns still linger over its long-term side effects. Tate & Lyle’s products have sold well in the Asia and South America but poor soft drink sales in the US have weighed on sentiment.

The market consensus is for an operating profit of £353 million but the company has stated it should come in at £329 million, which is unchanged from last year’s profit.

The share price has yet to fill the gap between 783 and the recent high of 721. If the results on Thursday are weak we could have renewed takeover speculation by its Chinese competitors, which could drive the share price to 783. The stock has found support at the 640 level.

Tate & Lyle chart

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