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Despite higher raw materials costs, Symrise saw sales increase 4%, to €432.6 million; they were €416.8 million in Q1 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were €87 million, a 2% increase from the same period last year, with a margin of 20.1%.
International sales led the charge in the quarter's strong showing, with 13% (9% local currency) growth in North America, 10% (10% local currency) growth in Latin America and 5% (1% local currency) in Asia Pacific. In the Europe, Africa, Middle East (EAME) market, sales declines by 2% from the 1st quarter of 2011.
In the scent and care division, oral care was a clear leader, achieving double-digit growth in North America and Latin America. Latin American scent and care sales increased by 15%, in part because of Symrise's acquisition of Belmay's Brazilian activities. Globally, the division posted 3% (1% local currency) growth over last year's 1st quarter.
The flavor and nutrition division reported 5% (3% local currency) growth. North America, with an 11% increase, was the biggest growth area, with EAME also contributing, particularly in emerging markets. A strategic partnership in consumer health, with Indevex Biotech, strengthened numbers.
"Symrise is off to a solid start for the current fiscal year," says CEO Heinz-Jürgen Bertram. "After the subdued development at the beginning of this year, the market environment improved faster than originally anticipated. Our business with global customers has grown especially rapid. In addition, we maintained our profitability at our targeted margin level of 20% despite high raw material costs. We also expanded our market presence with targeted acquisitions and strengthened our focus on innovation in fast growing market segments. In view of the positive developments seen in this quarter, we are raising our sales outlook for the current financial year."