COPENHAGEN, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Danish food ingredients maker Chr. Hansen posted a bigger-than-expected rise in fourth quarter operating profit, aided by sales growth in all of its three business units, and said it expected a steady profit margin in the year ahead.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 59.5 million euros ($82 mln) in the three months to end-August from 50.3 million euros a year earlier, to come in just above a forecast for 58.7 million euros in a Reuters poll.
For the 2013/14 financial year, Chr. Hansen expects revenue to grow by 7-9 percent organically and an EBIT margin above 26 percent, from 26.1 percent in 2012/13.
It proposed an ordinary dividend of 0.42 euros per share and an extraordinary dividend of the same amount. ($1 = 0.7260 euros) (Reporting by Teis Jensen, Editing by Patrick Lannin)