Skip to main content

Firmenich Names New CFO, Posts FY Sales Gain

The Swiss fragrance and flavors maker has named Benoit Fouilland to the role, succeeding Eric Nicolas, who becomes group chief operating officer.

PARIS — Firmenich, the largest privately owned fragrance and flavors supplier, has named Benoit Fouilland as its new chief financial officer.

Fouilland will start in the position on Sept. 1, succeeding Eric Nicolas, and will report to the Geneva-based company’s chief executive officer, Gilbert Ghostine, as a member of Firmenich’s executive committee. Fouilland will also serve as the board’s secretary of the finance, audit and risk committee. He most recently was cfo at Criteo SA.

Nicolas, meanwhile, becomes the group’s chief operating officer.

“[Fouilland] is a business-minded cfo of rare stature with an impressive track record of building and leading global financial teams and maximizing business performance,” Ghostine said in a statement released Tuesday. “With his depth of experience, I am confident he will be a key partner for our entire executive team.”

Related Galleries

“It is a very exciting time to join the company as they embark on their new strategic cycle,” Fouilland said.

You May Also Like

Nicolas, who held Firmenich’s cfo position since 2011, is now charged with overseeing global operations and supply chain, digitalization, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate strategy. He continues to be a member of the company’s executive committee.

“Eric has been instrumental [in evolving] the governance of Firmenich matching the ambitious growth over the past decade, and I am pleased to keep partnering with Eric in his new role supporting our continued transformation and customer excellence.”

Firmenich also on Tuesday released its full-year results for the 12 months ended June 30.

Group revenues reached 3.88 billion Swiss francs, or $4.25 billion, up 2.8 percent on a local-currency basis. That included a 2.2 percent increase in perfumery and ingredients, and a 3.8 percent gain in flavors.

“Worldwide lockdowns and travel bans affected some of our business segments, in particular food service and fine fragrance, with a knock-on effect on perfumery ingredients,” Firmenich said in another statement. “This impact was more than offset by our strong performance in savory, sugar reduction, plant-based proteins, personal care, body care and home care.”

The group achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margins of 22.1 percent as a result of ongoing productivity gains and cost discipline. Free cash flow came in at 454 million Swiss francs, a rise of 8 percent.

“We continue to operate in a context of unparalleled uncertainty. We remain committed to continuing to support our clients and suppliers, and to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues around the world,” Firmenich said. “Notwithstanding any near-term challenges, we remain focused on investing for the long term to help our clients reach their ambitions with innovation, creativity and a commitment to a sustainable future.”

Firmenich shareholders will vote on the fiscal year’s dividend during the next annual general meeting, which is slated for October.