UK sugars and sweeteners group Tate & Lyle reported that its first-half profits doubled to £126m (US$197.5m).

The company reported underlying pre-tax profit for the six months ending 30 September of £126m, up 97% from last year's £64m profit and beating analysts' forecasts of £109-112m.

Tate & Lyle, which manufactures a range of products from branded sugars and syrups to soft drink sweeteners and industrial starches, issued four profit warnings between March 2000 and February 2001 due to rock-bottom sugar prices and volatile commodity nature of its products.

The company sold its US Domino and Western sugar interests and also Australian sugar business Bundaberg to focus more on value-added products, reported Reuters.