UPDATE 1-Croda's profit rises on strong consumer care sales

Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:01am EST

* Full-year pretax profit 253.2 mln stg vs 237.5 mln stg last year earlier

* Full-year sales up 2.3 percent 1.05 billion stg

* Full-year consumer care sales up 2.6 percent to 586.4 million stg

Feb 26 (Reuters) - British specialty chemical maker Croda International Plc said increased fourth-quarter sales at its consumer care business helped it report a 6.6 percent rise in full-year profit.

Croda, which makes chemicals used in personal care and home care products as well as in lubricants and coatings, said underlying sales grew 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Sales at its consumer care business, which brings in most of the company's revenue, grew 1.4 percent to 136.3 million pounds.

Sales for the full year grew 2.3 percent to 1.05 billion pounds ($1.59 billion), said the company that counts Procter & Gamble Co, Unilever Plc, L'Oreal SA and Estee Lauder Co Inc among it customers.

Consumer care sales rose 2.6 percent to 586.4 million pounds.

Pretax profit rose to 253.2 million pounds from 237.5 million pounds a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected 251.6 million pounds in pretax profit and 1.07 billion pounds in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Croda raised its final dividend to 32.75 pence per share from 30.25 pence a year earlier.

The company's shares closed at 2556 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Monday, valuing Croda at 3.53 billion pounds.