Overall the group recorded growth of 6.2 per cent in local currencies and 12.8 per cent in Swiss francs, leading the firm to say that it had again clearly outgrown the market.
The flavour division recorded first quarter sales of CHF 440.5 million, representing a growth of 4.5 per cent in local currencies and 11.4 per cent in Swiss francs.
Latin America however achieved a double-digit increase while Europe, Africa, Middle East (EAME) and North America showed a strong single-digit growth. The beverage and savoury segments showed the highest growth.
Sales in Asia Pacific declined slightly due to a strong first quarter 2005 comparable. China continued to post solid double-digit growth with highest growth recorded in the Beverage segment stemming from new wins with key customers.
Givaudan says that this performance was partially offset by the decline in sales in Japan. The completion of the new creation, technology and production centre in Shanghai is on schedule and will be operational from August 2006.
Latin America posted strong double-digit sales growth, driven by new wins in the beverage and confectionery segments. Strongest growth was reported in Argentina as well as a good single digit growth in Brazil.
Sales in North America showed a good single digit growth. The performance of the confectionery and beverage segments drove the region's results with Foodservice and the acquired IBF portfolio again posting excellent sales. The production transfers to the Devon facility are on schedule.
Sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East showed good growth mainly driven by the rebound of the beverage segment, which enjoyed double-digit growth due to new wins and good growth from established products of key customers.
Both, Eastern Europe and the Middle East reported good double digit gains whilst Western Europe reported single digit gains. In Duebendorf (Zurich, Switzerland) the groundbreaking for a new state-of-the art logistics centre took place in March.
Scheduled for completion by end 2007, it will further enhance operational efficiencies with a fully automated warehouse.
Givaudan said that its fragrance division recorded even higher growth in the first quarter of 2006.
Despite some difficulties, Givaudan continues to lead the flavour industry with an estimated 13.5 per cent slice of the market in 2003, followed by US International Flavours & Fragrances with an 11.7 per cent share. Firmenich, equity-owned Symrise and ICI-owned flavours company Quest International are slated to have about 9.8, 9 and 6.1 per cent of the market respectively.
As a result, Givaudan is confident of its ability to sustain its leading market position and to deliver a strong performance throughout 2006.