Perfume and emerging markets drive growth for Firmenich, but results hit by Swiss Franc

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Perfume and emerging markets drive growth for Firmenich, but results hit by Swiss Franc
Flavours and fragrance firm Firmenich saw sales increases right across the board of its perfumery business division with emerging markets posting the strongest growth, however they were hit hard by the Swiss Franc as figures dipped.

The Swiss company posted sales of CHF2.78bn, which is an increase of 5.8 per cent in local currencies, but a decline of 3.9 per cent in Swiss Francs, its reporting currency for 2011 fiscal year ending June 30.

The sweet smell of success

The company’s perfumery business division posted robust single-digit sales increases in local currencies, as positive performances were recorded across all segments.

Fine Fragrance achieved exceptional double-digit sales growth in FY11, driven by many new product launches by Firmenich’s clients.

Additionally, the company also saw strong performances achieved at prestige specialty retail, in particular with body and skin care products, followed by robust sales of mass body perfume, deodorants and new hair care brands.

Geography maps a different story

Geographically, Western Europe posted the strongest growth for Fine Fragrances, with Latin America posting robust sales gains also. In North America, single-digit sales growth was achieved in comparison to strong prior year performance, followed by the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

However, it was a different story for company sales as a whole, as geographically, emerging markets posted the strongest growth, led by Asia Pacific and China, followed by Western Europe, North America, Latin America and the Middle East.

Firmenich continued to strengthen and deepen its global presence during the year, focusing heavily on the emerging markets, establishing its affiliate in China as a unique zone from Asia Pacific.

The company also benefitted from one full year of activity at its new perfume ingredients production site in India.

The cursed Swiss Franc exchange rate

Firmenich is not the first company to be feeling the effect of the Swiss Franc on its financial results.

Givaudan announced a big dip in its sales for its third quarter, which, like Firmenich was down to its reporting currency being the Franc, as local currency showed strong.

Givaudan announced that Swiss Franc sales for the period were down by 10.9 per cent to CHF966m, a figure that registered an increase of 5.4 per cent in local currency, reflecting the strength of the Swiss currency against most international currencies.

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