Flavor & Nutrition posted a sales increase in local currencies of 5.8 per cent to €603.2m, and a 21.6 per cent rise in EBITDA to €137.4m.
The company has attributed the strong result for flavours in 2007 to an increase in sales, with its Taste-for-Life range, intended to allow for less sugar, salt and fat without impairing taste, aiding the performance of both sweet and savoury divisions.
The company as a whole reported sales of €1274.5m at actual exchange rates - up 3.7 per cent on 2006, and EBITDA of €272.1m (up 11.9 per cent).
German-based Symrise also revealed today a plan that, if it comes together, will cast an even rosier glow on the future outlook. It is planning to purchase the seasonings (spice blends), savory, sweet and dairy flavor businesses of Chr Hansen.
The value of the acquisition, which is subject to antitrust approval, has not yet been disclosed, but Symrise said it will be its biggest to date.
"It will strengthen the company's current position on what is the largest domestic market for flavours in the world," said Symrise.
According to Leffingwell and Associates, the global flavours and fragrance market it worth an estimated US.$19.9 bn. Flavours are thought to make up just under half of this, and North American to account for just over a third.
Acquisitions and investments of 2007
Symrise made two acquisitions in the UK in 2007: Steng, a producer of herbs and spice pastes, stocks marinates and natural flavourings; and Unilever's UK food ingredients division.
Both of these buys had similar aims. Of the first, Symrise said it allowed it quick access to the growing market for clean label ingredients and to "catch the natural ingredients wave without investing several years in research and development".
The Unilever division, meanwhile, which reported sales of €5m in 2006, came with additional expertise, formulas, technologies and a broader customer base. Its focus is mainly on chilled foods and snacks.
In France, Symrise purchase the remaining shares of raw material producer Aromatics.
It had held a minority share since 2006, but the investment allowed it to integrate Aromatics into its own operations and in the process secure its supply of materials like vanilla, cocoa and coffee.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, Symrise opened a Global Citrus Center right next to a major citrus growing area - again securing ease of supply of an important raw material, and bringing its global expertise on research, sensory effects and technology under one roof.
Following this move, the company launched its Naturally Citrus flavour range in 2007, which is marketed on a platform of freshness, naturalness and stability.