UK-based food ingredients group Tate & Lyle today (30 September) reported an “encouraging” first six months of its fiscal year.

The company, which is focusing on food ingredients after deciding to sell the last of its sugar operations, said its performance gave it confidence it would “make progress” in the full financial year.

During the six months to 30 September, Tate & Lyle said growth from its speciality and starch businesses remained “steady”. The company enjoyed “robust” volume growth from its sucralose sweetners, although volumes were lower than average.

“Firm” demand for high fructose corn syrup in Mexico and “good” demand in the US and Europe boosted corn sweetener volumes.

Meanwhile, industrial starch volumes in the Americas and Europe were ahead of the prior year, although margins continued to be weak, Tate & Lyle said.

The company added that it was today completing the sale of its EU sugar refining operations to American Sugar Refining for GBP211m.

“The disposal processes of the remaining businesses within our Sugars division, principally Molasses and Vietnamese Sugar, are progressing well,” the group added.

Tate & Lyle will announce its half-year numbers on 4 November.