The group has undertaken a major restructuring in recent years, disposing of its traditional sugar business and focusing on the more lucrative and higher-margin food ingredients industry. The proceeds from the on-going sugar business disposals have been used to reduce the company's net debt to more comfortable levels, down from 1.5 billion in 2008 to about 500 million.
This gives it the option to undertake acquisitions, should the right opportunity arise, and could help to fund its emerging-market expansion.
Full-year results released at the end of May came in ahead of analysts' expectations, with a 7 per cent rise in group operating profit and a 17.7 per cent rise in earnings per share. The dividend also increased and the shares yield a little under 4 per cent.
While the share price has already benefited from something of a re-rating over the past year, the possibility of further upside along with the attractive dividend yield could provide some sweet opportunities.
Tate & Lyle
Scotsman says BUY
• The value of your investment could fall and you may get back less than you invested. You should take professional advice if you have any doubt on the suitability of this stock for your portfolio.
Broker says HOLD
FOLLOWING the Chinese takeover offer for Northumbrian Water, Graham Spooner – investment adviser at the Share Centre – has maintained his "hold" rating on rival United Utilities. Spooner added: "The interest generated on the back of this bid has helped to establish valuations in the sector."
Broker says BUY
AHEAD of the test results from its Sapele-2 well off the coast of Cameroon, RBS Equities carries a "buy" recommendation on Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer Bowleven. RBS added: "We believe a rate in excess of that achieved at Sapele-1 ST could see the shares modestly higher."