Tate & Lyle’s shares fell by over a quarter to 398.75p last week, wiping around £670m from its market capitalisation, after it announced that profits in its sugars division were "sharply lower" than in the comparative period last year.

In its third profit warning this year, it said profit margins had been hit by the weak US dollar. If the situation continues the company was likely to reduce pre-tax profits by a predicted £12m.

Rising corn costs in Europe will also have "an increasingly severe effect" on profitability from its ingredients division. Sales prices will be increased where possible in order to offset these higher costs, said the company.

"The well-publicised increase in European wheat costs further supports our decision to dispose of our interest in the facilities in the UK, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy to Syral, a subsidiary of the [agro-industrial] Tereos Group," said the statement. "We expect this transaction to close in the next few days. We will then have no exposure to wheat."