Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — Swiss fragrances and flavors group Givaudan AG posted a 14.2 percent increase in profits for the year ended Dec. 31, while sales grew 6 percent.
For the year, profits rose to $155.9 million from $136.5 million in 1999. Operating profits rose 10 percent, to $251.3 million from $228.9 million. Sales reached $1.39 billion from $1.31 billion. (Dollar figures have been converted from the Swiss franc at current exchange.)
The company said that “major new product wins” in the second half of 2000 drove up last year’s results and the realignment of the business focus to the changing market environment will allow Givaudan to further improve sales in 2001.
It noted that global sales in local currencies in 2000 decreased by 1 percent. Asia Pacific, parts of Europe and Latin America showed good growth, Givaudan said. However, the market situation was more difficult in the mature markets of North America and most Western European countries, due mostly to industry consolidation and product portfolio streamlining among key customers that led to postponed projects and fewer-than-expected new product launches.
Marketing, development and distribution costs increased by 11 percent, Givaudan said, as part of its strategy to serve growing customer bases in emerging markets. The company also accelerated the entrance into new market segments, such as the fragrance specialty retail business and food service.
Major investments in the U.S. last year include a state-of-the-art fragrance compound center in Mount Olive, N.J., and a new flavor research center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
At the end of last year, the company’s worldwide head count was 5,075 employees. Performance-based variable pay schemes, the company said, have been extended to all employees of the Givaudan group.