A Year of Major Changes and Achievements: President’s Statement
It was another challenging year with the global pandemic, disruption of global supply chains and rapidly rising inflation all impeding progress. We again made great demands on our employees this year and it is to their credit that they not only achieved strong financial results, but also the transformational event of the separation of the company into two companies. standalones, Tate & Lyle and Primient.
I know I speak for the entire Board in expressing my appreciation for the accomplishments of our people and the hard work it took to achieve them. I would also like to thank Nick and his team for the clarity of leadership they provided, guided as always by our purpose, which continued to be the glue that held people together when we were unable to meet in nobody. Keeping people informed, connected and focused on what’s important is essential in these difficult times, and Tate & Lyle’s communications and interactions with colleagues during the year have been second to none. I am convinced that the humanity and empathy that radiated from the leadership helped galvanize the entire company to deliver a historic year for Tate & Lyle.
The company is now fully focused on creating healthier, tastier food and beverages, a growing trend across the world that is here to stay.
CREATE TWO STRONGER COMPANIES
Long planned and prepared, the separation of the Group into two stand-alone businesses, Tate & Lyle and Primient – announced in July 2021 and completed on April 1, 2022 – was a complex transaction that was well executed. It’s ultimately about giving two companies with quite different characteristics the right ownership, capital structure and corporate goals for their respective businesses. Primient is better controlled by a shareholder whose primary interest is to invest in a stable, cash-generating business; while Tate & Lyle is best served by investors looking for growth investments. We are grateful for the support of our shareholders and are excited about the prospects of both companies.
A PROGRESSIVE DIVIDEND FROM OUR NEW BASE
Following the transaction, which was approved by shareholders at a general meeting on September 30, 2021, we returned approximately £500 million to ordinary shareholders on May 16, 2022 in the form of a special dividend with a grouping of related shares. Further details can be found on page 41. Looking ahead, as previously announced and in line with the sale of a majority stake in Primient, the Board of Directors has decided to reduce the dividend to reflect the reduced earnings base of the new Tate & Lyle. The payout ratio, excluding any Primient earnings, was maintained and the dividend per share reduced by approximately 50% prior to the reverse stock split. The Board intends to operate a progressive dividend policy from the new base. Given this and the impact of the share consolidation, the Board recommends a final dividend for the year ended 31 March 2022 of 12.8p (2021 – 22.0p) per share, bringing the dividend for the full year at 21.8p per share (2021 – 30.8p). This will be paid on August 5, 2022 to shareholders registered in the register of members on July 1, 2022.
Looking at this year’s results, what really stands out is the continued strong growth of our Food & Beverage Solutions business, which is at the heart of the new Tate & Lyle. This reflects a sustained period of investing in capabilities and people, and in building a growth-oriented management team. In addition to achieving strong organic growth, I am pleased with the steps we are taking to grow through acquisition. The integrations of the stevia and tapioca businesses in China and Thailand respectively, acquired in fiscal 2021, are progressing well, and in March 2022 we announced the acquisition of Quantum Hi-Tech (Guangdong) Biological Co. , Ltd, a leader in prebiotics. dietary fiber company in China.
These acquisitions are significant as they expand our business and presence in higher growth Asian markets and add new products to our portfolio to support our customer solutions offering.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PANDEMIC
The pandemic continued to pose immense challenges to our employees and the communities where we operate. But it also taught us some lessons that we want to remember in the years to come. As a board, we plan to operate with greater agility and flexibility. Like the rest of the company, we have learned to use technology and virtual meetings to perform routine tasks efficiently, with less stress on people and their families, and less impact on the planet. We will meet physically a little less often, but when we do, we will think about it more because, through the pandemic, we have all learned from its absence the value of being together.
Human interaction may be suspended for a while, but ultimately it is irreplaceable. Keeping this spirit in mind will be at the heart of Tate & Lyle going forward, along with the resilience and agility we’ve all had to find within ourselves and with each other.
Read more from Gerry about strengthening our board, our motivations and our outlook for the future, in the 2022 Annual Report on pages 12-13.