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Givaudan adds flavour to the stock exchange

A Givaudan employee in the laboratory

(Keystone)

The world leader in fragrances and flavours, Givaudan, has started life on the Swiss Stock Exchange in Zurich after having been spun off from the Roche healthcare group in Basel.

Givaudan, based in Geneva, is a leading manufacturer of smells and tastes which go into perfumes, consumer goods, food and drink.

"This is a very significant time for our company as we move another step closer towards being the undisputed leader in the flavour and fragrance industry," chief executive Jürg Witmer told Roche shareholders last month who approved the spin-off.

The decision was taken so that Roche could better concentrate on its pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and vitamins businesses.

The world market for flavours and fragrances is estimated at SFr14 billion, with Givaudan having a 14 per cent stake.

Witmer said Wednesday that Givaudan would use acquisitions to fuel growth but was in no rush to do quick deals.

He said there were limited opportunities in the relatively mature European and United States markets.

"In developing markets, especially China and India, we are already strong...but also in these markets there are still a lot of opportunities," he said.

Givaudan showed a pro-forma net profit of SFr232 million last year on sales of SFr2.23 billion.

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