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Why Croda International Is up 26% This Year

LONDON -- Croda International  (LSE: CRDA.L  ) has advanced 26% to 2,266 pence so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's best performers in the FTSE 100 (UKX).

The marketing and technology company that produces and sells specialty chemicals seems to have impressed investors with a series of encouraging statements.

During February, Croda announced 2011 results that showed sales increase 7% to £1,068 million, profits improve 22% to £242 million, and a full-year dividend up 57% to 55 pence per share.

The group reported strong growth within its consumer care and industrial divisions, and noted the performance reflected the leading positions the firm held in niche markets. The company also completed a £50 million share buyback program.

During April, Croda's first-quarter statement revealed a 5% sales increase to £291 million and profits rising 8% to £66 million. The group commented that it had achieved record quarterly results, with the group's two main divisions scoring their highest ever quarterly sales and profits.

Then in July, Croda disclosed half-year results that showed profits increasing 6% to £133 million and an interim dividend up 8% to 26.75 pence per share.

David Nish, Croda's chief executive, commented at the time:

These are a robust set of results which have been achieved despite challenging trading conditions in Europe. Against strong 2011 comparatives and adverse currency translation, both core business segments have made further progress. It is particularly pleasing to see Performance Technologies delivering improved margins and continuing to demonstrate the benefits of increased innovation.

Assuming no significant change in market conditions in the near term, we remain confident that this strategy will enable us to make further progress in the second half of 2012.

Then in November, Croda's third-quarter statement revealed profits up 5% to £60 million with sales up 1% to £256 million. The company reported that it was confident it had "the right strategy for steady growth."

Croda's preliminary 2012 results will be published during February 2013, and may reveal further heartening news that can impress investors.

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Barry James does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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