FLAVOUR, fragrance and cosmetics ingredients supplier Treatt today reported “a mixed year” as its annual profits came in ahead of initial forecasts.

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Bury St Edmunds-based Treatt reported a headline pre-tax profit of £5.06miliion for the year to September 30, down from £6.372m the previous year but still its second-highest ever total, on revenues largely flat at £74.009m against £74.518m,

Chairman Tim Jones said: “2012 has been a mixed year for the group. Nothwithstanding a weak start to the financial year, it is pleasing to report that results for the last year were significantly better than had been originally forecast.”

A weak final quarter in the previous financial year had continued into the first quarter of the year to September 2012, particularly at R C Treatt, the group’s UK operating subsidiary. Sales in the UK grew by 12% but demand was very weak across the rest of Europe, with sales in France and Germany under particular pressure.

The group’s Treatt USA business had “another good year”, although its overall contribution was lower due to the absence of profits on stock seen the previous year, and it had been a “steady” for the Earthoil subsidiary, which recorded a small profit for the second year running, he added.

Bottom-line pre-tax profits came in at £4.462m, against £6.372m, largely reflecting a one-off charge of £598,000 representing compensation for loss of office for former group managing director Hugo Bovill, who left earlier this year.

Treatt announced in July that it had begun talks with Mr Bovill “with a view to him stepping down from the board and leaving the business”.

Daemmon Reeve, formerly chief executive of Treatt USA, took over as group managing director on an interim basis and was formally appointed to the role in August. Mr Bovill was subject to a two-year notice period.

The board is proposing a final dividend of 10.4p per share, lifting the total dividend for the year by 6.9%, from 14.5p to 15.5p per share.

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