UK ingredients and sugar company Tate & Lyle has said that the group's trading performance has been in line with market expectations, with profits set to "comfortably exceed" the corresponding period of the previous year.

Sales of Splenda sucralose for the year to 31 March are expected to rise modestly year-on-year. The company said that it is focusing on product innovation by forming close and cooperative relationships with its customers in the food manufacturing industry.

Following the reforms to the EU sugar regime, Tate & Lyle has discontinued its Eastern Sugar business, a move that has been formally approved by the EU restructuring fund. The group will receive two payments totalling GBP51m (US$100.18m) payable in the fiscal to 31 March 2009.

Ending production of citric acid at Tate & Lyle's Selby, UK, site and the company's review of its astaxanthin business will result in an exceptional charge of approximately GBP35m, the group revealed.

The disposal of Tate & Lyle Canada, announced on 14 February, is expected to complete in the next financial year and will result in an exceptional gain of about GBP50m.

Updating the market on its move to divest in its Food & Industrial Ingredients, Europe business, Tate & Lyle said that it continues to make progress in exploring the possible full or partial sale.

Shares in the group rhad risen 4.96% at time of press today (29 March), increasing in value to 571.50 pence.