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By
Reuters
Published
Apr 10, 2015
Reading time
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Givaudan expects 2015 sales growth in line with last year

By
Reuters
Published
Apr 10, 2015

The world's biggest fragrance and flavour maker Givaudan said a challenging business environment meant sales growth this year would likely stay on a similar level to 2014, below the target range it has given for 2010-2015.

The Geneva-based firm and its peers have been benefiting from strong demand for their products in emerging markets, where ever more consumers can afford cosmetics and ready-to-eat dishes, but recently growth in these markets has slowed.

Givaudan.com


Underlying sales grew 3.7 percent last year, below Givaudan's mid-term target of 4.5-5.5 percent growth, to 4.4 billion Swiss francs ($4.84 billion), the group said on Thursday, implying a slowdown in the fourth quarter.

"We anticipate that the market conditions will remain the same this year. Recent comments from core clients also indicate this ... it was challenging last year and will be challenging this year," CEO Gilles Andrier told Reuters over the phone.

Growth in developing markets slowed to 7.0 percent for the full year from 8.3 percent in the first nine months and 9.7 percent in 2013. Andrier said the more marked slowdown in the fourth quarter was "partly due to a high comparative basis and partly because we feel the slowdown in demand with a time lag."

Cosmetics firm L'Oreal in November reported weak quarterly growth rates in western Europe and Asia Pacific, while consumer goods group Unilever pointed to weak emerging markets last week.

"The slowdown has a lot to do with China, especially in fragrances, and South East Asia for both fragrances and flavours," Andrier said, adding Latin America, Africa and the Middle East were still strong.

He said the group was on track to reach an average growth rate of 4.5-5.5 percent over the five years to 2015 and said there was further scope to improve profitability in flavours.

Net profit grew 15 percent to 563 million francs last year, in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll.

Givaudan will propose a dividend of 50 francs per share, 6.4 percent above last year, but slightly below expectations.

Andrier said he did not expect any impact on the group's profitability from the recent surge in the Swiss franc. "As a global group, we have a sort of natural hedge. But there's a translational effect, that has impacted our share price."

Givaudan shares, which gained more than 40 percent last year, pared earlier losses to gain 0.6 percent at 0914 GMT, outperforming a weaker European chemicals index.

1 CHF = $1.02/£0.70

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