Wellness and sustainability 'enhance' Cognis results
per cent to €3.518bn across its three business units.
Net profit came in at €30m - a €2m increase on 2007 - although special items that included refinancing fees and revaluation of deferred tax assets due to German corporate law reforms, meant an actual net loss of €120m was recorded. "Our sales figures for 2007 prove that our strategy in being committed to the wellness and sustainability trends significantly enhances the value of our company," said Cognis chief executive officer, Antonio Trius. "We achieved these good results despite various extraordinary challenges in 2007, such as a massive rise in raw material costs and a weak US dollar. Furthermore, we were able to conduct a successful refinancing and completed the carve-out of Pulcra Chemicals - two important strategic steps towards ensuring the long-term competitiveness of Cognis." Nutrition and health Its Nutrition and Health division accounted for about ten per cent of the German ingredient giant's turnover, and increased 4.7 per cent to €331m from 2007 figures. Cognis attributed the increase in this division to "higher sales of ingredients for baked goods and desserts, and products for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries." Its move into the omega-3 sector also contributed positively to the result. "Nutrition and Health also successfully completed the integration of Napro Pharma, which has been acquired in 2006, into its business, contributing to the sales growth with omega-3 fish oil products." A spokesperson said now the integration of Napro Pharma had been completed omega-3 would continue to be a prime focus for the company in the next financial period and beyond. Shesaid raw materials costs, which had affected all Cognis divisions, were expected to continue rising in 2008 and 2009, but current results had been compensated by cost reductions and selling price increases. Across the board Cognis said it had been a "successful year in a challenging economic environment" and noted that sales growth had been supported "by a focus on wellness and sustainability". Its other divisions - Care Chemicals and Functional Products - achieved growth of 6.7 per cent on sales of €1.447bn and 4 per cent respectively (€874m). Green strategies would be prominent for Care Chemicals offerings in home and personal care, the company said. While sales fell slightly in Europe for the year, the Asia-Pacific and Central and South America provided the greatest growth at 16.1 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively. Looking forward, CEO Trius said the Monheim-based specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients supplier that employs about 7600 people, had undertaken cost-saving measures. "In 2008, we will focus even more on our three core business areas and continue to optimise our operations and processes to equip ourselves for the market challenges that lie ahead," he said. "As one example, we established a company-wide cost optimization program. Cognis will continue to develop highly innovative solutions and strengthen its portfolio of natural-source products, creating the basis for further success in the global growth markets of wellness and sustainability."