PARIS — Flavors and fragrance maker Symrise reported Wednesday its net income for the first quarter of 2008 fell 14.7 percent to 29.2 million euros, or $43.7 million at average exchange, due to a negative currency effect, particularly related to the U.S. dollar and Mexican peso.

Sales for the German firm (based in both Holzminden and Frankfurt) in the period ended March 31 rose 2 percent to 331.2 million euros, or $496.1 million. In local currency, they gained 6.4 percent. Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization were 63 million euros, or $94.4 million, down 1.6 percent or up 6.2 percent in local currencies.

Symrise stated total sales from its scent and care division’s business declined 0.9 percent to 179.8 million euros, or $269.3 million. In local currencies, they grew 3.7 percent. Within the division, Symrise’s life essentials unit, formerly called cosmetics, registered sales up 8.8 percent in local currencies.

“The fragrance business unit recorded sales figures that were in line with the previous year,” the firm stated. “Both [the life essentials and fragrance] divisions succeeded in increasing sales with key accounts, with sales to the 10 largest scent and care customers increasing disproportionately fast compared with total division sales.”

Symrise stated it recorded strong growth primarily in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and emerging Asian markets.

In other Symrise-related news, Joy Atkinson has left the company as president of Symrise’s U.S. fragrance division to rejoin competitor Firmenich as vice president of sales for the Geneva-based firm’s Body & Home Care division, a newly created position based in Princeton, N.J.

Atkinson, who joined Firmenich Thursday, is responsible for all body and home care accounts in North America. Prior to working at Symrise, Atkinson was vice president and senior account executive for fine fragrances at Firmenich.

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