Croda was founded at Rawcliffe Bridge
Croda was founded at Rawcliffe Bridge in Yorkshire by Mr Crowe and Mr Dawe to make lanolin, the refined form of wool grease. Crowe's nephew, A P (Phillip) Wood was appointed manager.
In October, the first order for three barrels of lanolin left the factory by horse and cart for Rawcliffe station.
Trading was difficult
Trading was difficult, but fortune smiled when a report from the National Physical Laboratory showed that lanolin is an effective rust preventive, opening up new markets, notably engineering and the developing automotive industry.
Croda's first profitable year
Croda's first profitable year of trading.
The outbreak of war
The outbreak of war led to collaboration with the Government to produce a variety of wartime specialities including hydraulic oils, camouflage creams and insect repellent - over six million tins!
Croda's first Technical Director
Edgar Lower, who had joined the company in 1932 as a 14-year-old to help in the laboratory, became Croda's first Technical Director. His particular interest was the use of lanolin as a natural ingredient in cosmetics.
Headquarters moved to Snaith.
Headquarters moved to a former vicarage in Snaith.
The end of the war
The end of the war meant that many of Croda's markets had disappeared. To compound problems, A P Wood died at the age of 46. The future looked bleak. Croda opted for a committee in charge, with Fred Wood, the son of A P Wood, appointed Sales Director at the age of 23.
The US market
Aware of the potential of the US market, Fred Wood went to New York to set-up an office; the foundations of Croda Inc.
Leading cosmetic companies
In the 1950s many leading cosmetic companies began to incorporate Croda products into their formulations.
Fred Wood returned to the UK to become Managing Director. He was succeeded in the US by Mike Cannon.
Croda's first major merger
Croda's first major merger with C M Keyworth of Leek, a supplier of fatty acid esters, spearheaded a period of steady organic growth.
George Crowe died and was succeeded as Chairman by his brother, Sir Edward.
Headquarters transferred to Cowick Hall
Headquarters transferred to Cowick Hall, a beautiful but neglected mansion, which was formerly the country seat of Viscount Downe.
Croda Italiana was formed at Mortara.
Croda Inc, USA purchased the lanolin business of Hummel Chemical Company, transferring production to a newly constructed plant at Newark, NJ.
Sir Edward Crowe
Following the death of Sir Edward Crowe, Fred Wood became Chairman as well as Managing Director.
Croda GmbH was established near Düsseldorf, Germany.
Croda became a public company
Croda became a public company.
Croda Nippon was formed in Japan as a joint venture with Sansho Oil and Fat Trading.
Croda decided to expand by acquisition
Croda decided to expand by acquisition, with its first target the United Premier Oil Company, a long established oil seed crushing/refining company. Its subsidiary, the Universal Oil Company, manufactured fatty acids - the basic material of the oleochemical industries.
British Glues and Chemicals was acquired
British Glues and Chemicals was acquired - one of the two major UK gelatin producers. This was followed by Bowmans Chemicals, a manufacturer of food acids and specialised chemicals for metal finishing.
Croda Canada and Croda Australia were formed.
Croda bought L&H Holdings
Croda bought L&H Holdings, two factories at Hull and Barking which modified vegetable oils for use in paints and inks. This was followed by A B Fleming, a collection of companies making printing inks and synthetic resins.
South Africa Zimbabwe
Croda South Africa and Croda Zimbabwe were formed.
Croda was truly international
Croda France and Croda Brazil (image left) were formed. Croda was truly international.
Croda celebrated its 50th anniversary
Croda celebrated its 50th anniversary. Profits had risen from £12000 pa in 1950 to £12 million, with worldwide sales of £128 million.
Growth continued via strategic acquisitions, notably Midland Yorkshire Holdings, (synthetic chemicals and tar products), and Kenneth Thelwall, (blended oils and greases).
Chairman Fred Wood received a knighthood
Chairman Fred Wood received a knighthood.
A joint venture company was formed in Mexico, Quimica Croda SA.
Croda's most difficult year since going public
Record interest rates and the strength of sterling led to the collapse of UK manufacturing output. This was Croda's most difficult year since going public.
Takeover bid by Burmah Oil
Croda successfully fought off a takeover bid by Burmah Oil. As a result, its strategy changed from being a diversified conglomerate to sticking with businesses it knew best.
Sir Frederick Wood retired as Chairman
Sir Frederick Wood retired as Chairman. He was succeeded by Mike Cannon, formerly head of US operations, with Keith Hopkins as Group Chief Executive.
Croda Singapore was formed.
A major £9 million project
A major £9 million project began to modernise and expand the Rawcliffe Bridge factory.
Croda bought the Chemicals division of John Kerr & Co, a company which made fire fighting foams and powders.
Mike Cannon retired as Chairman
Mike Cannon retired as Chairman, to be succeeded by Michael Valentine, a merchant banker from Warburgs who had advised Croda on many major acquisitions.
Croda Universal developed Lorenzo's Oil
The new factory at Rawcliffe Bridge came on stream. The Group focused increasingly on its core speciality chemicals business, with major capital investment programmes in the UK, USA, Singapore and Japan.
Croda Universal developed Lorenzo's Oil for the treatment of a young boy with ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy) - a story which was made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie.
Specialising in plant extracts
Croda bought Novarom, a German company specialising in plant extracts.
Croda Hong Kong was formed, followed by Croda Nordica (Sweden) and Croda Poland (1994), Croda India (1995), Croda Shanghai (China) and Czech Republic (1996) and Hungary (1997).
Ingredients for skin care
Croda bought the STOA group, whose principal subsidiary, Sederma, is a world leader in active ingredients for skin care.
World's largest lanolin manufacturer
The acquisition of the Westbrook lanolin business made Croda the world’s largest lanolin manufacturer.
Croda Iberica was formed in Spain.
Keith Hopkins was appointed Chairman
Keith Hopkins was appointed Chairman, succeeding Michael Valentine on his retirement. Mike Humphrey (image left), who had progressed from management trainee in 1969 to heading up the successful Oleochemicals business in 1995, was appointed Group Chief Executive.
Croda Argentina was formed.
Croda celebrated its 75th anniversary
A new $50 million speciality chemicals complex was opened in Singapore - Croda's largest ever single investment and one of world’s most advanced chemical complexes.
Croda Korea was formed.
Keith Hopkins retired as Chairman
Keith Hopkins retired as Chairman, and was succeeded by Antony Beevor (image left), a Non-executive Director of Croda and a Senior Advisor in the London corporate finance division of Societe Generale.
Croda Brazil launched Crodamazon, a range of oils derived from the '‘Fruits of the Amazon Rainforest’', which involved working in an environmentally friendly manner with local communities living alongside the banks of the Amazon. A factory was established in Manaus, located in the heart of the Rainforest, to refine the oils.
Naturally derived products
Croda Chemicals Europe was formed to improve the focus on the groups main markets, Health Care and Personal Care.
Croda today is a focused speciality chemicals company, selling an exciting range of naturally derived products.
Croda Thailand was formed in Bangkok.
Major investment at Sederma site in France (pictured), which makes active ingredients for many leading personal care products.
Croda Inc officially opens new HQ
Croda Inc officially opened its North American Headquarters and Innovation Center in Edison, NJ.
Croda Canada transferred to new premises in Vaughan, Ontario.
1% Club launched giving employees paid leave to get involved in community projects.
New Enterprise Technologies division formed
New Enterprise Technologies division formed to identify and commercialise new technologies, headed by Keith Layden.
Martin Flower (pictured) appointed Chairman, succeeding Antony Beevor.
A year of transformation
Croda China opened in Shenzhen.
Croda announces acquisition of Uniqema from ICI. Uniqema is a global manufacturer and supplier of base oleochemicals and chemical specialities for a wide range of markets.
Croda Colombia formed in Bogota
Croda Colombia formed in Bogota. Successful integration of Uniqema continues, almost trebling the size of the group and extending Croda's geographic spread to virtually every country worldwide.
The results of the successful integration of Uniqema
The results of the successful integration of Uniqema are reflected in record results with sales of £886 million and profit before tax of £60.9 million.
New structure announced with two major divisions: Consumer Care and Industrial Specialities. With Uniqema now fully integrated into the business, Croda now has 43 sites in 36 countries, and is well placed to face the challenges of the 21st century.
A £1 billion company with offices to match
Turnover reached £1 billion for the first time as Croda continued an unbroken run of continued sales and profit growth over the past ten years.
New offices were completed at Croda's HQ, primarily to house European commercial functions. The new offices are heated by geothermal heat from water 100 meters underground, honouring our continued commitment to minimise environmental impact.
Change at the top as Group Chief retires after 42 years
Mike Humphrey announces his retirement as Group Chief Executive after 42 years' service. Steve Foots is appointed as Croda's new Chief Executive tasked with leading Croda to further growth and future success.
Steve joined Croda in 1990 as a graduate trainee.
Keith Layden is appointed to the board of directors in his new role of Chief Technology Officer. The role is created to accelerate the development and acquisition of innovative technologies, critical to Croda's success.
Stem Cell Technology Acquisition
Croda confirms acquisition of IRB (Instituto di Ricerche Biotechnologiche s.p.a), Italy who is a world leader in plant cell culture biotechnology. The business focuses on development of commercial ingredients orginating from plant cell culture for use in industries such as personal care anti-ageing products.
March 2012 also saw Croda join the FTSE 100 Index of the London Stock Exchange. The FTSE 100 is comprised of the one hundred companies listed in the UK with the highest market values, and is the usual measure of stock market performance watched by investors and commentators around the world.
Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporation
Croda is placed number one in the UK and number 25 in the world on the "Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations" report.
This prestigious recognition confirms Croda's overall business strategy as sustainable and continuing to deliver long-term success. The criteria for the award not only looks at financial success but other key areas of sustainability such as environmental impact and employee investment.
In July, Croda announces that it has acquired a 65% equity interest in Sichuan Sipo Chemical Co. LTD (SIPO), a non-listed natural speciality chemicals manufacturer based in Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, China.
A state of the art, well invested production facility, this acquistion strengthens existing operations across China and the Group's overall position in Asia. Sipo will also consolidate Croda's global leadership in fatty acid amides and add new technology that will enable the Group to expand the portfolio across a number of core markets