Tate & Lyle, the international speciality ingredients producer, has reported strong volume growth in Europe after a slow start to the US summer.

The statistics, released as part of the company’s interim management statement, showed that colder weather at the start of the year caused lower volumes in US bulk liquid sweeteners.

In its speciality food ingredients division, volumes and sales grew ahead of the wider market sector. This allowed for strong volume growth in Europe and in emerging markets.

Tate & Lyle also revealed a strengthened financial position, due to a fall in net debt from £479m as of 31 March 2013 to £426m by 30 June.

In a bid to develop its speciality food ingredients business, the company announced it had acquired Swedish oat beta glucan manufacturer Biovelop.

Beta glucan is a soluble fibre, which has widely approved health claims, including from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), for lowering cholesterol and reducing post-prandial glycaemic response.

Based in Kimstad, Biovelop produces the ingredient under the brand name PromOat, for use in the food, beverage and supplement markets.