BERLIN — Fragrance and flavors supplier Symrise posted a 16 percent drop in first-quarter net income to 20.9 million euros, or $27.4 million at average exchange, due to high raw material prices, weaker sales development, plus integration and restructuring costs.

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The Holzminden, Germany-based company’s sales rose 2.6 percent to 346.7 million euros, or $454.2 million, in the period. In local currency, revenues dipped 0.3 percent.

Symrise’s operating profits decreased by 30 percent, or 40 percent in local currency, to 38.1 million euros, or $49.9 million.

Sales from the company’s scent and care division were down 2 percent, or 5 percent in local currency, to 179.8 million euros, or $235.5 million. At constant group structure, the scent and care division’s sales were flat.

“The market environment still poses a huge challenge for the whole industry,” stated Gerold Linzbach, Symrise’s chief executive officer, who will leave the company in October. “Customers are continuing to reduce their inventory levels, and their ordering behavior remains volatile. Symrise has succeeded in holding its own in this environment, although we are not satisfied with the earnings position.”

The firm says despite the economic downturn, it is still pursuing its goal of growing faster than the market.

The company also announced Thursday it has issued a promissory loan note of 75 million euros, or $99.8 million at current exchange, for the first time in an effort to strengthen its capital base.