Tate & Lyle has said first-quarter underlying profits before tax were in line with the comparative period last year and ahead of its expectations.

The company said demand from its food and beverage customers across its food and industrial ingredients divisions was stable and profits from value-added ingredients continued to grow.

Sucralose sweetener Splenda traded above expectations, although demand for industrial starches remained weak.

Tate & Lyle said its results had continued to benefit from cost-reduction measures taken across the business.

Looking ahead, the company said it anticipated a satisfactory performance in the second quarter, although results are not expected to match those of the corresponding period last year, when it benefited from the commodity price peak of summer 2008.