The company reported sales of 7.71 million for the first three months, an increase of 8.2 per cent, or 17.2 per cent based on a constant exchange rate.
Performance has been particularly boosted by the Brucia Plant extracts division, bought in early 2002, and now bringing in half of the company's total revenues.
However after increasing its 2002 turnover by more than 80 per cent on the previous year to €29.6 million, growth slowed during 2003. The firm is now hoping to generate new sales with the acquisition of a well-established rosemary business, jointly held by US-based RFI Ingredients and Hauser, announced in March.
This business, with a turnover of $2.5 million, gives Naturex access to two leading brands and four major patents on purification of rosemary extracts, developed over the last 10 years by Hauser.
Naturex will be looking at new areas, such as drinks, for the recently acquired activities. It is also expected to add to sales growth and expand its customer base in the US. The rosemary business currently has 40 clients there, including some of the biggest food manufactuers.
With the deal immediately adding to profits, the company has forecast organic growth of at least 15 per cent for 2004, and profits to swell by between 30 and 50 per cent.
In 2003 it reported net profit of 1.83 million. This could reach up to 2.7 million this year, according to Naturex.