Neville Prior

Cornelius in ICIS Top 100 Distributors Report

Neville Prior  27 July 2016 10:20:32 AM
Image:Cornelius in ICIS Top 100 Distributors Report
Delighted that Cornelius again appears in ICIS's Top 100 Distributors report. More information can be sought from ICIS at

UK economy grows by 0.6%

Neville Prior  27 July 2016 10:09:26 AM
Image:UK economy grows by 0.6%
The UK economy grew 0.6% in the three months to the end of June, a period that ended one week after the vote to leave the European Union. Growth in gross domestic product was stronger than expected in the quarter, and was up from 0.4% growth in the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Any uncertainty ahead of the referendum seemed to have a "limited" effect, the ONS said. On an annual basis, growth was 2.2%.

ONS chief economist Joe Grice said: "Continued strong growth across services, particularly in retailing, reinforced by healthy growth in the manufacture of cars and pharmaceuticals, boosted output in the second quarter. "Any uncertainties in the run-up to the referendum seem to have had a limited effect. Very few respondents to ONS surveys cited such uncertainties as negatively impacting their businesses." This is the first estimate of second-quarter economic activity and is based on less than half the data that will give the eventual figure.

GSK: UK still ’attractive’ post Brexit as it invests £275m

Neville Prior  27 July 2016 09:44:24 AM
Image:GSK: UK still ’attractive’ post Brexit as it invests £275m
GlaxoSmithKline is to invest £275m to expand its UK manufacturing sites, saying the country remains "an attractive location" despite Brexit. The pharmaceutical firm, whose chief executive Andrew Witty backed the Remain campaign, said the UK's skilled workforce and competitive tax system helped drive the decision. It said most of the products made at the expanded sites would be exported. The firm said it expected its investment to create new jobs.

"It is testament to our skilled UK workforce and the country's leading position in life sciences that we are making these investments in advanced manufacturing here," said Mr Witty.

The firm said the investment would be spread across three of its UK manufacturing sites: Barnard Castle in County Durham, Montrose in Angus, and Ware in Hertfordshire. GlaxoSmithKline currently employs 16,000 people in the UK, 6,000 of which are employed in manufacturing. There were some fears that pharmaceutical firms such as GSK and AstraZeneca may seek to move their headquarters following the outcome of the EU referendum. Mr Witty had said prior to the vote that leaving the EU "would create uncertainty and potentially add complexity" for the UK's life sciences sector. Responding to GSK's announcement, the Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark said: "An investment of this scale is a clear vote of confidence in Britain and underlines our position as a global business leader. "GSK's recognition of our skilled workforce, world leading scientific capabilities and competitive tax environment is further proof that there really is no place better in Europe to grow a business."

BASF Quarterly Profit Hurt by Weak Demand For Crop Chemicals

Neville Prior  27 July 2016 09:38:13 AM
Image:BASF Quarterly Profit Hurt by Weak Demand For Crop Chemicals
BASF SE’s second-quarter profit dropped 16 percent as the world’s largest chemical maker was hit by weaker demand for farm products and a lower oil price. Earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items fell to 1.71 billion euros ($1.88 billion) in the three months through June, the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Profit fell 12 percent at the division that makes fungicides and herbicides used on crops.

“Agricultural solutions came out worse than expected,” Bernstein analyst Jeremy Redenius wrote in a note. “Declines in Europe and Latin America more than offset the growth in Asia and North America.”

Chief Executive Officer Kurt Bock has focused on cutting costs instead of taking part in consolidation in the agricultural sector as rivals Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. work toward merging their crop chemical activities amid declining farm incomes. BASF reiterated that profit and sales will fall this year as a lower crude price hurts oil-and-gas unit Wintershall and after the company divested its gas-trading business.

“Our outlook for 2016 remains ambitious in the current volatile and challenging environment and is particularly dependent on further oil price development,” Bock said in the statement. “We remain focused on cost-containment and restructuring measures.” Even as oil prices rebounded in the second quarter to average $47.03 a barrel for the Brent benchmark, up from a 12-year low of $27.10 in January, crude’s recovery has showed signs of fading over the past weeks as huge stockpiles remain. The International Energy Agency said earlier this month that “the road ahead is far from smooth.”

BASF’s quarterly sales dropped 24 percent to 14.48 billion euros, missing an analyst estimate for 15.2 billion euros. BASF gave up 12 billion euros in sales to Gazprom PJSC in an asset swap last year.

Profit was boosted by the company’s specialty chemicals businesses, which make ingredients for cosmetics, household products and pharmaceuticals. After years of restructuring and job cuts, earnings at the performance products division jumped 65 percent. Bock agreed to his first multi-billion-dollar acquisition during the quarter with the $3.2 billion purchase of Albemarle Corp.’s coatings business to expand the company’s anti-corrosion treatments for metal car and plane parts.

Brexit - Bad for the Chemical Industry on Both Sides of the Channel (A News Release from VCI)

Neville Prior  15 June 2016 10:12:37 AM
Referendum in Great Britain / Impacts on the chemical-pharmaceutical industry  
        •        Leaving the EU would be a fatal signal for the economic development in Europe
        •        Consequence: a drop in chemical exports and direct investments
        •        Current trade volume in chemical goods with Great Britain: 18.5 billion euros
        •        Investments of well over 2 billion euros by British investors in the German chemical industry
If the majority of British voters decide, in the referendum on 23 June, that their country should leave the European Union, it would have noticeable negative effects on Germany’s third largest industry, according to the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI).
In case of a Brexit, the VCI anticipates in the mid-term a weakening of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry's exports to Great Britain and a drop in direct investments on both sides of the Channel. VCI President Marijn Dekkers states: "We hope that a clear majority of British voters will want to remain in the EU. Especially now, at a time when the economy in Europe is undergoing a timid recovery, a withdrawal from the European Union would be a bad signal for the further economic development."
Great Britain is an important trading partner and one of the biggest markets in the EU for the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry. Last year, the industry sold goods worth 12.9 billion euros to Britain (7.3 percent of all exports). Specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals accounted for the largest share. During the same period, German chemical companies imported goods to the value of 5.6 billion euros from the island (see chart). These mainly included pharmaceutical inputs and petrochemicals.
Great Britain is also immensely important as a production and distribution location. At present, 63 subsidiaries of German chemical companies are active in Britain. Overall, they employ around 6,000 staff and realise sales of 4.1 billion euros. The stock of direct investments on the island totals roughly 1.6 billion euros. British investors have invested well over 2 billion euros in the German chemical industry (see chart).
From the VCI's perspective, the most serious negative economic effects of a Brexit would have to be borne by the British themselves. But a withdrawal from the European Union would bring losses in gross domestic product and falling exports also for the remaining EU Member States - and especially for German companies. Cross-border investments would be impaired too, so the VCI. The likely devaluation of the British pound and the uncertainty that comes with exit negotiations would give reason to German investors to reconsider their commitment to the location Great Britain and to possibly withdrawal capital. The distortions of financial markets triggered by a Brexit would be difficult to quantify.
Note: Files and data from two charts are available at (in German language)
        1        Great Britain is an important trading partner and one of the biggest markets in the EU for the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry. Precisely 7.3 percent of exports of chemical products go there. 
        2        British investors have invested well over 2 billion euros in German chemistry. Direct investments on the island by German companies amount to 1.6 billion euros. In the event of a Brexit, a reduction in the stock of FDIs is likely on both sides of the Channel. 

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI
is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.
The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2015 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 189 billion euros and employed
over 446,000 staff. 

UK Unemployment Falls to 1.67 million

Neville Prior  15 June 2016 10:04:43 AM
Image:UK Unemployment Falls to 1.67 million
UK unemployment fell to 1.67 million in the February-to-April period, down 20,000 from the previous quarter, official figures show. The fall took the unemployment rate to 5%, the lowest rate since October 2005, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number of people in work rose by 55,000, with the employment rate remaining at a record high of 74.2%. Earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.3% compared with last year. The number of people on the claimant count fell by just 400 in May to 746,100, although April's figure was revised higher by 6,400 as information about those claiming out-of-work benefit under the new system of Universal Credit came in.

UK Retailers Expect Dismal June

Neville Prior  25 May 2016 10:18:14 AM
Image:UK Retailers Expect Dismal June
Britain’s retailers are braced for June to be the worst trading month in more than three years as uncertainty over the outcome of the EU referendum weighs on consumers’ appetites for spending. Retail businesses are planning to cut jobs and investment as fears about the state of the global economy add to their woes, according to the CBI. Rain Newton-Smith, the business group’s director of economics, said: “Even though low inflation is still boosting pay packets, retailers are continuing to operate in a tough environment, with strong price competition squeezing margins.

“With a cloud of uncertainty hanging overhead, particularly from challenging global conditions and the outcome of the EU referendum, it is not surprising to see investment intentions deteriorating and business sentiment levelling off.”

Retailers are expecting sales to fall next month at the fastest rate since May 2013 and have sharply cut back on orders. Of the 121 firms taking part in the CBI survey, 21% said they expected sales volumes to increase next month, while 26% expected them to fall. The resulting balance of -5% was the lowest since May 2013. Meanwhile investment intentions for the year ahead were at the lowest level since August 2013, with a balance of -13%. Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the caution was understandable.

“With household real income growth slowing this year in response to rising inflation, slower job growth and tighter fiscal policy, we think retailers are right to prepare for choppier waters ahead.”

Trading in May had shown some improvement, with sales modestly higher than the same month last year. A total of 36% said sales volumes were up; 29% said they were down. Growth was driven by an increase in sales of clothing, recreational goods and DIY products.

Bayer Bids for Monsanto

Neville Prior  23 May 2016 04:31:17 PM
Image:Bayer Bids for Monsanto
No longer a rumour, Bayer has bid a huge $62bn for Monsanto. Will BASF or another counterbid - probably not, but the story may have more to run.

Cornelius Essential Oils and Carrier Oils

Neville Prior  13 May 2016 02:46:49 PM
Image:Cornelius Essential Oils and Carrier Oils
We now offer a wide range of essential oils sourced from all over the globe, in pack sizes from 1 kg to 200 kg drums and at competitive prices with short lead times.
View our list of essential oils here
We also offer a range of unusual carrier oils which are new to the market, such as:
Manketti Oil

Also known as Mongongo oil, this is a ‘new’ oil from Southern Africa. The oil is cold pressed from the nuts, which are often collected from elephant dung as it is much less labour intensive than getting the nut from inside the fruit.
Mongongo oil is very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and forms a protective and emollient film on the surface of the hair, where it acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from escaping the interior of the hair. These fatty acids also add gloss to hair and improve comb-ability by smoothing the surface of the hair.
Tsubaki Oil
Also known as Japanese Camellia oil, it is an emollient and approximately 82% of its fatty acids are composed of oleic fatty acid (Omega-9).
Omega-9 is a remarkable transdermal carrier, and is very effective in enhancing skin's moisture retention ability. It is quickly absorbed and permeates deep into lower layers of skin, promoting cell growth and giving skin support and flexibility.
        •        Hair Care: Softens hair and makes it more manageable. Restores hair's natural sheen. Helps hair retain moisture. Forms a barrier against environmental pollutants. Repairs breakage and split ends
        •        Skin Care: Fast-absorbing moisturiser. It has a silky, creamy texture and is non-comedogenic
        •        Body Care: Moisturises, nourishes and softens skin. Restores bounce and elasticity. Diminishes fine lines and wrinkles
For samples or further information please contact your account manager or Chantal James on

Cornelius Launches Charitable Trust

Neville Prior  13 May 2016 02:31:23 PM
Image:Cornelius Launches Charitable Trust

Cornelius  has launched a new charitable trust to support educational projects in communities where it operates around the world. The Board of Cornelius has launched the trust with an initial donation of £25,000 and a new Board of Trustees, made up of company employees, has been established to manage and grow the fund into the future. The new Cornelius Trust will focus on four initiatives through a range of fundraising events and activities.

In the UK, each year, the trust will sponsor a student from the sixth form at Birchwood High School, in Bishop’s Stortford, to study a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subject at university. The initiative is aimed at supporting students from under-privileged backgrounds and those who would not otherwise be able to attend university. Dr. Chris Ingate, principal of Birchwood High School, said: “The new partnership with Cornelius is extremely valuable and beneficial to our school and students. We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with such a successful, international company like Cornelius.”

Internationally, the trust is investigating how it can work with local schools in Warsaw, Poland, where Cornelius has established itself as a major distribution business. In Madagascar, where Cornelius sources some of its vanilla products, and India, where the company sources its psyllium fibre, it is looking at funding a variety of educational community projects which support vanilla and psyllium growers and their families.

Dr. Neville Prior, Cornelius chairman, said: "In contrast to previous charity work that the company has engaged in, the intention of the new trust is to focus on one charity, project or community in a location of relevance to Cornelius and build a long-standing, high value relationship with them, in order to maximise the impact of the trust’s efforts. “As a well-established company, operating for more than 80 years, it’s important for Cornelius that we are able to give something back to the people and communities that we do business with, enabling them to prosper and develop even further.”

The Cornelius Trust has already held its first fundraising event. A football match took place at Bishop’s Stortford Football Club between Cornelius and Weston Homes, a property development company operating in London and the south-east. The £1,000 raised at the event was split between the newly founded trust and St Clare Hospice, the nominated local charity of Weston Homes. Players and spectators had the chance to see and have their photograph taken with the Barclays Premier League Trophy which was on display at the stadium.  
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