October 10, 2019 / 5:21 AM / 7 days ago

UPDATE 1-Givaudan confirms guidance after price hikes boost 9-month sales

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ZURICH, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Fragrance and flavour maker Givaudan confirmed its mid-term guidance on Thursday after sales rose 6.4% on a like-for-like basis in the first nine months of 2019, helped by price increases at its fragrance division.

"The company continues to implement price increases in collaboration with its customers to fully compensate for the increases in input costs," said the group that is currently using its flavours expertise to give plant-based meat alternatives a better taste.

Givaudan and its peers have to quickly embrace trends, such as plant-based food, natural ingredients or active cosmetics, as their customers in the consumers goods space are all under pressure to launch more innovative products.

Sales rose to 4.664 billion Swiss francs ($4.69 billion) from January through September, up from 4.073 billion francs over the prior-year period, with fragrances rising 8.5% thanks to new business and price increases while sales at the flavours unit were up 4.6%.

Growth rates were particularly strong in Latin America, solid in Asia Pacific and Europe, Africa and the Middle East, but sales decreased by 1.5% in North America, where only local and regional customers performed well and dairy products were weak, Givaudan said.

The Geneva-based company said it would continue targeting acquisitions and confirmed it aims for 4-5% sales growth over its five-year strategy cycle. ($1 = 0.9949 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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