In the first three months of 2007, Cognis reported a net sales increase of 1.7% to 890 million euros. On organic terms, excluding foreign currency effects and effects of acquisitions of Cosmetic Rheologies (March 2006) and Napro Pharma (May 2006), sales grew by 4.6% (€41 million) compared to the first three months in 2006. Almost all strategic business units contributed to this growth. Return on sales was 12.4%, and earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) increased by 8% to €64 million.
“We had a satisfactory performance in the first quarter both in sales and profit,” said Antonio Trius, CEO, Cognis. “Higher margin products and higher volumes at our strategic business units Care Chemicals and Functional Products and a successful cost management were important drivers for our solid growth. On the other hand, increased raw material prices and unfavorable hard currency issues had an impact on our earnings.”
Care Chemicals, the company’s largest SBU, posted a sales increase of 2.4% percent to €362 million. Organic sales growth was €16 million , or 4.6%. This, according to the company, was primarily due to the strong volume growth achieved with innovative specialties and increased volumes in the primary surfactant business.
“For the rest of 2007, we expect further solid and profitable growth in sales and earnings—especially in the areas of our core activities Care Chemicals, Nutrition & Health, and Functional Products,” said Trius. “Cognis will continue to focus on the innovation-driven growth markets for products that serve the wellness and sustainability trends.”