LONDON, ENGLAND — Tate & Lyle reported on May 27 that net profit for the year ending on March 31 increased to £163 million pounds compared to £15 million a year ago, due to increased sales in specialty food ingredients unit and good volume growth in bulk ingredients.

Operating profit was £303 million, compared to a loss of £44 million a year ago. Sales were up 7% to 2.72 billion pounds, compared to £2.53 billion last year.

“Tate & Lyle performed well in the year achieving steady growth across a number of our markets. In specialty food ingredients, we delivered strong profit growth driven by increased sales volumes across the product portfolio, improved product mix and lower sucralose manufacturing costs. In bulk ingredients, we experienced good volume growth from sweeteners and very strong returns from co-products due to high corn prices,” said Javed Ahmed, chief executive. “The board is proposing an increase in the final dividend reflecting its confidence in the business.”

Tate & Lyle said it expects steady demand to continue in its specialty food ingredients sector. Sweetener margins are expected to remain flat with volumes slightly down.

Industrial starches are expected to perform better, the company said, particularly in Europe, but not sufficient to offset more normal co-product returns.