Tate & Lyle plc has said it expects “modest” full-year gains as an increase in corn prices dented third-quarter results.

The ingredients group announced its third-quarter profit before tax was “broadly in line” with expectations, but down on last year due to a “step change” in fixed costs.

The firm said its speciality ingredients business gained market share, while bulk ingredients saw “solid” North American drive and sales in Europe were “in line” with last year.

However, corn supplies in the US and Europe remained tight and the company now expects prices will remain high, with some volatility, in the coming months. The company said that it will take a GBP7m (US$11m) hit related to a fungus – aflatoxin – that has affected grain crops.

“The group has made a solid start to the final quarter. Despite facing a number of headwinds and before the impact of exchange rate movements, we expect to make modest progress this financial year,” the company said.