LONDON, ENGLAND — Tate & Lyle PLC issued on Feb. 9 an interim management statement covering the period from Oct. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2011, stating that it delivered a solid performance the quarter with operating profit in line with expectations. The company said it remains on track to deliver a good performance for the year ending March 31.

Within Specialty Food Ingredients, Tate & Lyle said it achieved steady sales growth although the rate of volume growth was, as expected, lower than that achieved in the first half. In corn-based specialty sweeteners and starches, the company said it achieved good sales growth on higher volumes. Sucralose volumes grew but below the particularly strong levels seen in the first half.

Within Bulk Ingredients, North American liquid sweetener volumes continued to benefit from robust levels of domestic and Mexican demand. In Europe, higher sugar prices, which provide a reference price for isoglucose, enabled the company to increase liquid sweetener margins despite higher corn prices.

While industrial starch margins were ahead of the prior year, volumes were lower as there was some softening in demand from European paper and board customers reflecting the more uncertain economic environment. Toward the end of the period, U.S. ethanol margins weakened on the back of lower prices in anticipation of the expiry of the blenders’ tax credit.