|Traded as||LSE: CRDA|
|Headquarters||Snaith, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK|
|Key people||Martin Flower, Chairman
Steve Foots, CEO
|Products||Speciality Chemicals for:
Coatings and Polymers
|Revenue||£1,077.0 million (2013)|
|Operating income||£264.6 million (2013)|
|Net income||£177.9 million (2013)|
Croda International plc is a British speciality chemicals company based at Snaith in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The company was founded by George Crowe in 1925 at Rawcliffe Bridge to manufacture lanolin, a natural protective fat present in sheep's wool, which must be washed out before the wool can be woven, under the name Croda (a combination of the first few letters of his surname with that of his partner, a Mr Dawe).
In 1927 Philip Wood became the first manager of the Croda lanolin factory. Philip swiftly refined Dawe's production process and, in the 1930s, he gradually developed a wider range of product applications for lanolin. When Philip in 1949, aged 46, the board decided to run the business by committee, with Philip's son Sir Frederick Wood appointed sales director. In 1950 Fred relocated to New York to set up a new office with some success. In 1953 Fred returned to the UK and was appointed Croda's managing director, aged just 27.
Under Fred Wood's management Croda experienced a sustained period of rapid growth. Leading cosmetics companies started using its products in the 1950s and at that time it also began to expand internationally: it moved to its present location in 1955. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1964. It expanded rapidly in the 1960s acquiring United Premier Oil in 1967 and British Glues & Chemicals in 1968. In 1990 it developed Lorenzo's oil, a product famously used to treat adrenoleukodystrophy. In 1998 it bought Westbrook Lanolin.
The company's products include:
- Surfactants which are used as ingredients for cosmetic creams and lotions.
- Dietary supplements containing speciality lipids, such as omega-3 oils.
- Fatty acid amides which add "slip" to plastic surfaces, so plastic bags can be peeled apart easily.
These products are sold to other manufacturing companies. Croda has factories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Brazil, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan.