Flavour and fragrance ingredients group Treatt today reported a 39pc increase in first half profits as its strategy to focus long-term customer partnerships continued to bear fruit.

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The Bury St Edmunds-based company generated revenues of £37.1million in the six months to March 31, an 11pc increase from £33.6m in last year’s first half, and pre-tax profit before execeptional items was 39pc ahead, at £2.8m against £2.0m.

Company chairman Tim Jones said: “Whilst this is the second year in succession during which first half profits have grown materially year on year, it is important to emphasise that the group’s profits remain seasonally biased towards the second half.

“The more important aspect of the first half has been the continuing focus of the group on building stronger and deeper foundations for long term success. This is being delivered through the on-going focus on product innovation, added-value manufacture and by partnering with those customers with whom we can develop significant, long-lasting relationships.

“Earthoil, the group’s personal care division which specialises in organic and fair trade ingredients, has also continued to perform well.”

He continued: “The group is also placing greater emphasis on new product development and technologies than it has done before. This has already resulted in encouraging new business wins, especially in our US markets where, for example, we are innovating to support the trend for vegetable-based and calorie-reduced beverages. These, together with other initiatives, will support the Group in one of its primary aims of moving up the value chain.”

And Mr Jones added: “The third quarter of the financial year has started steadily. With order books up on prior year, the board remains confident at this early stage of the second half that the group will meet its expectations for the year ending September 20, 2014, whilst at the same time continuing to build the foundations for success over the decade to come.”

Group chief executive Daemmon Reeve said: “We continue to focus our efforts on long term success. Our strategy is gaining good traction and, coupled with the effort and focus of our teams across the globe, the results are both translating into profits today and laying the groundwork for opportunities tomorrow.”

The board of the EDP Top100 company has declared a 13pc increase in the interim dividend to 1.24p per share, against a restated 1.10p per share at last year’s half-way stage, adjusted to reflect a five-for-one restructuring of the company’s share capital approved at this year’s AGM.

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