Flavor firm Sensient Technologies has reported strong results for its fourth quarter and full financial year, following higher sales, improved product mix and increased prices.
The leading manufacturer of colors, flavors and fragrances said revenue for the year ended December 31 2006 increased 7.3 percent to $1.1bn. Fourth quarter revenue was up almost 8 percent to $273m.
The increase in annual revenue was driven by higher Color segment sales and "record sales" within the Flavors & Fragrances segment, said Sensient.
According to Sensient's chief executive officer Kenneth Manning, the firm had an "outstanding year", and expects to "continue to perform well" in 2007.
The Flavors & Fragrances segment saw revenue for the twelve months increase 9 percent to $733m, with results for the quarter growing 9 percent to $185m. Quarterly operating income jumped 43 percent to $27m, compared to $19m in the fourth quarter of 2005.
The segment's results benefited from higher volumes and higher sales, particularly in the US, said the firm. Flavor sales in Latin America were also up. Profit was boosted by higher sales, improved product mix and the company's cost reduction efforts.
Revenue for the firm's Color group increased 3 percent to $350m for the year, and 6 percent to $83m for the quarter. Fourth quarter operating income rose to almost $14m, an increase of 19 percent from the 2005 fourth quarter.
Annual and quarterly revenues reflect "solid growth" within the firm's food and beverage product lines, with higher sales driving the increase in operating income, which was enhanced by favorable product mix and an improved cost structure, said Sensient.
Created more than 120 years ago, Sensient - that in 2000 changed its name from the Universal Foods corporation - over the past few years has moved from a commodity driven business into value added, more sophisticated products. In the past seven years the 3500 strong firm has secured 20 acquisitions, and more than half of its revenues are from non-US operations.
The company is present in 28 locations in Europe, and about a quarter of revenue comes from this geographical zone. The company now has a 2.8 percent global share of the fragrance and flavors market.