PARIS — Swiss flavors and fragrances group Givaudan announced this week first-half sales of $908 million, an increase in Swiss francs of 8 percent from $849 million year-on-year. In local currencies, growth would have been 12.8 percent.

Dollar figures have been converted from the Swiss franc at current exchange rates.

The results of FIS, the flavor business acquired from Nestlé, have been consolidated since May 2002, Givaudan said in a statement. On a comparable basis, if FIS had been consolidated since January 2001, sales would have grown by 6.7 percent in local currencies and 2.5 percent in Swiss francs.

In actual terms, taking into account the consolidation of FIS in May, gross profit reached $444.5 million in the half. Operating profit increased 8 percent to $161.9 million from $149.7 million in the year-ago period.

Earnings before interest (and other financial income), tax, depreciation and amortization were at $217 million, an increase of 9 percent from $199 million. Net income reached $105.9 million, up 5 percent from $100.5 million.

"Key growth drivers were the very good overall sales performance of the flavor division and the fragrance consumer Products business unit," Givaudan said in a statement.

"In the fragrance division the consumer products business unit continued its strong performance from last year, whereas the fine fragrance market has not yet recovered and continues to reflect the present state of the economy, the consumer confidence and levels of inventories," the statement said.

The company added, barring unforeseen events, it expects good results for the full year.

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