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Acquisitions ahead for Symrise amid Diana bid rumours

By Sarah Hills , 12-Mar-2014

Symrise has recorded new highs in 2013, growing sales by 6% and EBITDA by 10%, while reports claim that the flavour and fragrance firm has made a bid for the Diana Group.

The 2013 fiscal year results show strong growth and give a clear indication that acquisitions are on the horizon for the German firm.

This comes as unconfirmed reports claim that Symrise and Japanese firm Ajinomoto have bid for the Diana Group, valuing the French natural ingredients company at more than €1.2bn, according to ft.com.

Symrise declined to comment on the reports when asked by Foodnavigator.com. However, a spokesman did clarify that Symrise AG Chief Executive Officer, Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, has said it is evaluating five to ten merger and acquisition options.

This would follow Symrise's recent acquisition of the American Belmay Group and shares in the Swedish probiotics specialist, Probi AB.

Symrise is the fourth largest supplier of fragrances and flavouring.

In its 2013 annual report, Symrise states that strategic opportunities arise from acquisitions.

It adds: "Through collaboration with Probi AB, attractive new application areas could be developed. To strategically broaden our expertise, we are continually looking for suitable target companies.

"In addition, we see opportunities arising from cooperative ventures with universities and companies. Bundling expertise can speed up product development and generate innovative products."

Looking at the 2013 figures, Dr Bertram said in a statement:  "Symrise again clearly outperformed the global market for flavours and fragrances. We achieved new records in sales and earnings despite a very volatile economic climate.

"We particularly benefited from our expanded menthol activities and from high demand for flavours used in sweet and savoury applications."

The Group boosted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to €373m compared to €339m in 2012. Sales were up to €1,830m on €1,735 in 2012, growing faster than the global market for flavours and fragrances growth rate, estimated at 2-3% per year.

Its Flavor & Nutrition division increased sales by 2% to €870m in 2013 (2012: €852m). Adjusted for exchange rate effects, this growth amounted to 6%. Latin America recorded the strongest sales increase for the division, up 15% at local currency.

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