Sales increased €45.4m to €1.32bn including the acquisitions made during the year. Excluding acquisitions and negative currency effects sales grew 3.5 per cent (0.8 per cent in actual currency).
However, net income for the year dropped 7 per cent to €90.4m, which the Germany-based company blames on the high prices of raw materials and costs related to acquisitions.
Results suffered in the second half of the year as the global economic situation deteriorated; this downturn mainly affected the luxury segments and customer order patterns, according to the company.
Scent and care lags behind flavours
The company’s scent and care division continued to lag behind the flavour and nutrition segment, reporting a sales increase of 2.2 per cent in local currencies (a decrease of 0.7 per cent in actual currency) excluding acquisitions.
Fine fragrances and personal care suffered due to a drop in demand in the associated luxury segments, stated the company.
As in previous years the emerging markets were the main growth drivers and for the division as a whole, sales rose 6 per cent in local currencies in these regions.
High raw material prices took their toll on earnings for the segment as the effect of price increases implemented by Symrise became evident very late in the year.
Fourth quarter hits flavours hard
The flavour and nutrition business segment performed better over the whole year, but suffered significantly in the last quarter.
Excluding the acquisition of Chr. Hansen Flavors, sales rose by 5.0 per cent in local currency (2.4 per cent in actual).
Again, emerging markets performed strongly accounting for about 42 per cent of the division’s total sales and showing ten percent sales growth over the year.
However, the drop in demand in the fourth quarter hit the flavour and nutrition business, and excluding acquisitions sales remained stable.
According to the company, such figures should not be taken in isolation and represent customers delaying delivery dates at the end of 2008.
Future predictions not forthcoming
Looking to 2009, the company joins a number of the big players in remaining relatively silent about the year ahead.
It expects the first half of 2009 to be weaker than 2008, due to high raw materials prices, however no forecasts are given.
“Despite the challenging business environment, we consider our core business to be as stable and robust as ever,” said Dr. Gerold Linzbach, Chief Executive Officer of Symrise.
“As a result of the strategic decisions taken in recent years, we are well positioned to grow faster than the market in 2009 as well,” he added.