UK sugar and sweeteners company Tate & Lyle has said fiscal third-quarter group profit before tax was in line with its expectations.

The company said group profit before tax and exceptional items for the financial year to 31 March 2004 will depend on the final outcome of pricing negotiations in both the US and Europe and the translation impact of exchange rates.

“Nevertheless, we anticipate results will be close to market expectations with a weaker Amylum result in the final quarter being offset by a satisfactory performance in the rest of the business,” Tate & Lyle said.

The company’s Amylum unit has been hit by significant rises in raw material costs in Europe and increased competitive pressures.

“Looking forward, based on our current experience of raw material costs and contract negotiations to date, we expect Amylum’s results for the financial year to 31 March 2005 to be significantly below those of 2004. A review of Amylum’s operations is in hand in order further to reduce the cost base. Although we anticipate further progress in 2005 at our North American businesses, this is likely to be offset on currency translation,” Tate & Lyle said.