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Sweetener Soured

Times Online January 23, 2007

Sweetener soured

Tosin Sulaiman

Analysts are viewing Tate & Lyle's profit warning as a sign of excessive expectations in its sweeteners business. Investors' hopes had been fuelled by the sugar refiner's decision last year to focus on its sweeteners. However, Tate shares fell more than 15 per cent today as they absorbed the news that Splenda is not yet the hit that its makers had hoped it would be.

One person who will not be surprised by today's statement is Charlie Mills, the Credit Suisse analyst who gave warning last week of the challenges facing the sugar substitute, such as the unenthusiastic reception to Coca-Cola's and Pepsi's new Splenda-based drinks and Diet 7Up's decision to switch from Splenda to Aspartame in a relaunch.

General Mills also withdrew the Trix and Coco Puffs cereal lines it launched using Splenda after slow sales. Credit Suisse says that it has not written off Splenda, however, and investors may just have to wait patiently for a recovery.

Posted on January 30, 2007 in News | Link To This Entry | Comments (0)


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