PARIS Givaudan reported its third-quarter sales declined 1.1 percent to 1.09 billion Swiss francs, or $1.17 billion.

The Vernier, Switzerland-based fragrance and flavors supplier’s revenues gained 3.7 percent on a like-for-like basis in the period ended Sept. 30.

Givaudan said that in the third quarter volume growth in all markets was consistent with levels during the first half of the year and that pricing effects were negligible.

Its fragrance division’s sales retreated 1.3 percent to 532 million Swiss francs, or $570.9 million. Meanwhile, its flavors division’s revenues dipped 0.9 percent to 561 million euros, or $602.1 million.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.

In the first nine months of the year, Givaudan’s sales rose 2.7 percent to 3.318 billion Swiss francs, or $3.55 billion.  On a like-for-like basis, they gained 5 percent.

The fragrance business was up 3 percent to 1.58 billion Swiss francs, or $1.69 billion. And the flavors segment registered sales of 1.739 billion Swiss francs, or $1.86 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent.

The firm reiterated its mid-term objectives of growing organically between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent annually, assuming market growth of 2 percent to 3 percent, and continuing market-share gains.

“Givaudan expects to outgrow the underlying market and to continue to achieve its industry-leading EBITDA margin while improving its annual free cash flow to between 14 percent and 16 percent of sales by 2015,” the company said in a statement, adding it intends to return more than 60 percent of its free cash flow to shareholders while keeping a medium-term leverage ratio target under 25 percent.

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