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ZURICH, April 11 Flavour and fragrance maker
Givaudan confirmed its mid-term targets and said it
wanted to keep growing its dividend after growth slowed less
than expected in the first quarter, helped by a strong
performance in North America.
Givaudan and its peers are grappling with slowing growth at
consumer goods groups such as Nestle and Unilever
, to whom they supply flavours for foods and
drinks and fragrances for toothpaste and soap, and a rise in raw
"Givaudan started the year with good business momentum," the
Geneva-based company said in a statement on Tuesday, adding it
was implementing price increases in collaboration with its
customers to compensate for increases in input costs.
It confirmed its goal of like-for-like annual sales growth
of 4-5 percent on average until 2020 and said it wanted to
maintain its dividend practice. It has increased the dividend
for 16 years in a row.
Sales of 1.24 billion Swiss francs ($1.23 billion) in the
first quarter of 2017 were up 3.5 percent like-for-like, slower
than 5.8 percent in the year-ago period but above the average
estimate of 1.5 percent growth in a Reuters poll.
Sales at its fragrance unit that created perfumes such as
Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme and Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Extreme
rose 2.1 percent despite a high comparison base, helped by
strong gains in fine fragrances in western Europe, Africa and
the Middle East and a double-digit increase in the home care
Sales in the flavours business were up 4.8 percent, above
the 3.5 percent progression in the first quarter of 2016.
Including recently acquired Spictec and Activ International,
growth stood at 14.1 percent in local currency.
Among regions North America stood out with 9.2 percent
like-for-like overall growth, thanks to a weaker comparison and
new wins in dairy and beverages, Givaudan said.
($1 = 1.0087 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields)