Against a current tough market backdrop for ingredients, Danish company Chr Hansen is facing up to the challenge, with the dairy culture specialists this week lifting previous profit forecasts for the year by €4 million on the back of stronger ingredients growth and higher exchange rates.
In the nine-month report voiced in July this year, the company pitched the annual profits for 2002/03 at DK100-110 million. Since this time, a positive change in the picture resulted in the company this week adjusting those figures to DK135-140 million.
"The organic growth rate of 6 per cent for ingredients in the fourth quarter of 2002/03 was higher than expected in the third quarter report, leading to revenue of approximately DK3.35 billion in 2002/03," said the company in a statement on Wednesday.
The profit forecast was further lifted through ingredients due to higher exchange rates in the fourth quarter than expected, including a DK/USD exchange rate of DK6.78 per US dollar as at 31 August 2003.
At the same time, Chr Hansen announced that EBITA for allergy vaccines at ALK-Abelló also helped boost the forecast, pipeline costs are now forecast at a total of approximately DK220 million compared to the earlier forecast total of approximately DK225 million.
Products from Chr Hansen, among the world's top 15 suppliers of food ingredients with a market capitalisation of €2 billion, span from starter cultures to a range of natural colours and flavours for the food, dairy, animal health, human health and nutrition industries.
In July, Chr Hansen reported that EBITA margin for food ingredients for the nine month period ended May 31 rose from 10.9 per cent to 13.0 per cent, with EBITA increasing by 5 per cent to DK321 million. But exchange rates fell by 12 per cent, representing a fall in revenue to DK2,472 million.
The specialist strategy that the company has adopted, and its drive into value-added ingredients, appears to be helping the company steer a steady course in changing, and sometimes stormy, market conditions for ingredients.