Givaudan Sales Growth Slows on Emerging Currencies, Pricing

Givaudan SA (GIVN), the world’s largest flavorings amker, reported its first decline in sales for at least six quarters, weighed down by declining currencies from Brazil to India.

Third-quarter sales declined 1.1 percent to 1.1 billion francs ($1.2 billion), the Vernier, Switzerland-based company said. That met the estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Like-for-like sales increased by 3.7 percent. Givaudan sees “no obvious reason” why fourth-quarter sales growth shouldn’t hold steady, spokesman Peter Wullschleger said.

“Swiss franc sales are down because of currencies, many of these are important for us like the Indonesian rupiah, the Indian rupee and the Brazilian real,” Wullschleger said by phone. Sales grew more slowly compared to the first half because of positive pricing effects which will not be repeated in the second half, he said.

Chief Executive Officer Gilles Andrier, in a July interview, predicted lower second-half sales and flagged that customers were growing “more cautious” in developing markets. Unilever, the No. 2 consumer-goods maker, said Sept. 30 that sales growth weakened in the third quarter amid a further slowdown in emerging markets, sending the shares down the most in almost two years.

Givaudan got about 44 percent of sales from developing markets like India, China and Brazil last year, according to data collated by Bloomberg.

Shares of Givaudan have gained 29 percent this year on better-than-expected growth in the first half and a generous dividend. Shares of U.S. competitor International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) gained 20 percent.

The Swiss company re-iterated its mid-term forecast of sales growth between 4.5 to 5.5 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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