Treatt, the manufacturer and supplier of flavour and fragrance ingredients, primarily from essential oils, announced today [Wednesday] its interim results for its first half ended 31 March 2002.

Group turnover increased 7% to £14.45m (US$21.1m) from £13.49m, though profit before tax fell by 4% to £1.25m (2001: £1.31m). Earnings per share have consequently decreased to 8.6p per share (2001: 9.2p per share). The board has declared a 3% increase in the interim dividend to 2.7p per share (2001: 2.6p per share) which is payable on 4 October 2002 to all shareholders on the register at close of business on 6 September 2002.

Chairman Edward Dawnay described the period as “satisfactory”, adding that “the year started slowly, due to the tragic events of 11 September 2001, with trading in the Q1 well down on the same period for last year. In contrast, the Q2 saw a significant improvement in business activity, which in part was attributable to additional turnover derived from the recent increase in orange oil prices.” 

For the six months, Florida Treatt reported increased sales, up 17% on last year, despite the slow start. Sales from the TreattaromeTM range of natural distillates also showed strong growth.

As a result of a strategy review for the Far East region, the company closed its Singapore Treatt sales office in March 2002, and sales will be handled directly in the UK. The resulting one-off closure costs of £41,000 have been provided for in the interim results.

Dawnay added: “Our capital equipment investment plan is continuing as expected. The new development in Lakeland Florida is going ahead as planned. The evaluation of a replacement business IT system to support our future growth has taken considerable management time, but we have now finalised this process.”

The group’s balance sheet strengthened further during the H1, with net assets per share of £1.69 (2001: £1.58 per share). “Based upon our current projections,” said Dawnay, “the cash outflow in the H2 should be minimal.”

Dawnay added that the prospects for both RC Treatt and Florida Treatt in the full year “remain satisfactory”. 

“The period ahead will be demanding for both management and staff, as we aim to complete the development of our new facility and initiate the first phase of our Enterprise Resource Planning system implementation.”