UK sugar and sweetener firm Tate & Lyle has said trading since the announcement of its interim results on 4 November 2004 has continued to go well and its outlook for the year to 31 March 2005 has not altered.

The company said its Tate & Lyle Food and Industrial Ingredients Americas (formerly Staley) business has substantially completed the negotiation of its calendar 2005 sales contracts.

"Overall in calendar 2005 in local currency, and despite higher energy costs, we expect at least to maintain sweetener total net margins at calendar 2004 levels. We anticipate achieving higher total net margins on value added food ingredients and other products," Tate & Lyle said.

The company also said the 2005 calendar sweetener pricing round for Tate & Lyle Food and Industrial Ingredients Europe (formerly Amylum) has been competitive.

"After higher energy costs we expect total sweetener and starch net margins to be slightly below those achieved in calendar 2004," it added.

Finally, the company said demand for sucralose remains strong and its expansion projects are on track.