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Menthol and medical foods informing Symrise expansion plans

By Jane Byrne , 14-Mar-2012

Ingredient supplier Symrise’s flavour and nutrition division is focused on expansion into the functional food arena as well as strengthening capacity to meet the "high demand" for menthol as the group reports a slowing down in Asian Pacific growth in its 2011 results.

The German producer said earnings before interest and taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), totaled 20% of sales in 2011, down from 21.1% in the previous fiscal year.

But Symrise CEO, Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, flagged up the EBIDTA margin as industry-leading and cited “selective portfolio streamlining, intelligent raw material sourcing and restrictive cost management throughout the Group,” as contributory factors.

The supplier said its flavor and nutrition division saw sales increase by 2% to €782.2m compared to €767.4m in 2010. When adjusted for exchange rate effects, Symrise said this corresponds to growth of 3%.

Functional and medical food expertise

And the unit, reports the German company, intends to develop its functional and medical food expertise in 2012 as part of the expanded partnership with the Swedish company Indevex Biotech.  

Symrise added that mid-2012 will see the new production plant for synthetic menthol in Holzminden fully operational. “In connection with this substantial increase in capacity, Symrise is expecting ramp-up costs in the first half of the year, which will be neutralized over the remainder of the year,” added the company.

Emerging markets

Activities in emerging markets contributed to 46% of sales in 2011, continued the German firm, but it reported weaker performance in beverage applications in the Asia-Pacific markets as a factor in the modest acceleration in its sales - 2% - in that region.

Latin America was the fastest-growing region with a sales increase of 3% (5% at local currency). Symrise said it benefited from strong demand for beverage applications and savory products in that market.

Stable consumer confidence forecast

The group expects stable consumer confidence for the next financial year, but predicts the uncertainty caused by the sovereign debt crisis will persist, especially in Europe, and there will be little let-up in commodity volatility. 

Nevertheless it forecasts that the global economy will pick up in the second half of 2012, with positive momentum once again set to come from emerging markets. And Symrise said it anticipates an EBITDA margin of again around 20% for the full year 2012.

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