The private-equity owned Danish firm, has reported net sales of DKK 3555m (€477.6m), up 7.3 per cent on last year. Gross profit was DKK1707m (€228.5m), up 12.6 per cent.
Although like all ingredients firms Chr Hansen has been buffeted by raw material prices and inclement exchange rates, CEO Lars Frederiksen said the improved margins have come about through strong organic growth and increased market share.
“The continued focus of the business within our core competence areas has also contributed,” he said. The focus is squarely on life sciences; its aim is to leverage its knowledge in lactic acid bacteria in both food and in the broader ballpark of life sciences.
Beyond the supply of value-adding ingredients for the food industry, Chr Hansen has expressed a wish to use its technology platform to expand into new applications, given the need for better balanced foods and foods with specific health properties.
Ten per cent of Chr Hansen’s employees work in research and development.
The CEO added that he was “particularly pleased” with growth of 26 per cent in the health and nutrition division, which he said proves the large opportunities.
Larsen also hinted that more acquisitions could be in the pipeline.
“We are constantly monitoring both market and technology acquisitions within our core competence areas and also looking for opportunities to add new knowledge to our company,” he said.
At the beginning of 2008 Chr Hansen acquired Medipharm, a firm supplying cultures for dietary supplements, food and agriculture. It is said to be now fully integrated into the company, and as well as helping to increase business it has also brought new opportunities on board.
PAI Partners has been the majority shareholder in Chr. Hansen since July 2005. Since the company is no longer listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, full and comprehensive financial reports are not made public.