As US International Flavours and Fragrances and Swiss company Givaudan continue to fight it out for the number one global flavours and fragrance spot, the Swiss supplier reports stable but far from dazzling 3 per cent sales growth for the flavours division for the first nine months of the year.
In local currency terms, the flavour division sales of SF1.227 billion actually translated as a growth of 12.7 per cent in local currency terms. But when the company's 2002 acquisition of Nestle's FIS is taken into account and its consolidated sales since 1 January 2002, a diminutive 2.1 per cent growth in local currencies was achieved.
Competition in flavours is keener than ever, but the Swiss company revealed stable growth in most regions of the world. In Japan, the largest market in the Asia Pacific region, the beverage segment showed double digit growth 'thanks to important new wins from key accounts'. Givaudan confirmed that the project to expand its Fukuroi flavour facilities is underway.
In China, the savoury segment developed 'very favourably' for the period and in Shanghai plans are afoot to build a new flavour facility,with a new compounding plant and an enlarged creation and application centre.
Latin America recorded good growth - boosted by beverages and savoury flavours - in local currencies, resulting from strong gains in the largest market, Mexico, as well as from Colombia, said Givaudan in a statement this week.
Consistent with first half results revealed in August this year, Givaudan said this week that the North America market continues to show slack sales in comparison to 2002 but there are signs of improvement.
'Third quarter sales show signs of recovery with an improved project pipeline and increased sample activity. Our investments into the food service segment continue to drive growth above market. New product activity in the cereal and bakery areas have contributed to the good growth of confectionery,' said the company this week.
By contrast, sales in Europe continued on the positive first half year trend, lifted by double digit growth in the beverage segment, a solid performance in dairy and savoury, and a long, hot summer.
The company reported that sales in the UK, Iberia, Benelux, Austria, South Africa and the Middle East still significantly outperformed local market growth.
Strategies to improve margins are apparently in the pipeline but for the moment, the Swiss flavours supplier is keeping its cards close to the chest.
The Swiss flavours and fragrance business saw sales from FIS help the company to record overall sales of SF2.7 billion (€1.9bn) for 2002.