April 28, 2020 / 7:44 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Symrise reports sales rise but flags lower sunscreen demand

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April 28 (Reuters) - German flavour and fragrance maker Symrise on Tuesday reported a 2.3% rise in quarterly revenue that just missed forecasts on lower sales of sunscreen and cosmetic ingredient sales in China.

Lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus outbreak have forced people to stay at home, reducing demand for products such as sunscreen.

The company's first-quarter revenue rose 2.3% on an organic basis to 917.1 million euros ($992.85 million), missing the 933.2 million expected by analysts.

The maker of ingredients such as artificial mint flavour for toothpaste and chewing gum confirmed its long-term target of 5-7% annual organic sales growth by 2025.

"Symrise expects that the COVID-19 crisis will temporarily change consumer behaviour in parts and lead to a shift in the portfolio," the company said in a statement.

It added that a large number of the products that are currently in greater demand address essential daily needs in connection with nutrition, personal care and hygiene, segments to which the company is exposed.

Swiss peer Givaudan said this month that demand for soap, shampoo and snacks would drive sales as people stock up.

Symrise and Givaudan as well as rivals Firmenich and IFF have been benefiting from strong demand from sectors such as consumer staples, resilient to cyclical swings also thanks to population growth, urbanisation and increasing prosperity in emerging markets.

However, Givaudan said demand for fine fragrances, a segment in which Symrise is also active with luxury giants such as France's LVMH and Kering on its list of clients, is seeing a decline as many shops are closed and tourists are not travelling.

$1 = 0.9237 euros Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Aditya Soni and Jason Neely

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