The company said that sales in the main European and North American had dipped in the fragrance division, reflecting the continued competition in those markets. However, in its fine fragrances division, strong performances in both Asia Pacific and Latin America, where double digit sales growth was recorded, helped to raise overall sales.
In the home care and body care division, double digits growth was reported, with particularly strong performances for soaps and hair care products.
The performance of the group's flavour's division was described as 'excellent', with the company recording strong sales growth in all geographical areas except Asia Pacific, where a slower increase was reported than in the past few years.
Firmenich said that the strong performance in the Latin America and Asia Pacific markets was bought about by partnerships with key clients and an increased penetration of regional customers.
"Globally, we outpaced the market and built our market share thanks to innovative perfumes, sound client relations, in-depth understanding of market and consumer trends and the quality of our teamwork," a company statement said.
In the course of the year a number of key investments have centred on the fragrance side of the Firmenich's business, emphasising the increasing importance it represents for the company. In its production centre in Geneva, a three-year investment scheme has been completed to up production of high value-added perfume ingredients, whilst in North America a new perfumery facility was opened up in New Jersey.
In Latin America, further investment included the automation of production and warehousing in the company's Brazilian site, while in Asia Pacific a new fragrance and flavour facility was inaugurated in Shanghai, China back in May. On top of that, new facilities were also inaugurated in Mumbai, to help boost the development of the company's operations in the Indian sub-continent.
For the fiscal year 2004 ending in June, the company recorded an annual turnover of CHF1.97 billion (€1.30bn), up 4.1 per cent on last year's figures. The company said that gains in the euro meant that the figure was up 6.6 per cent in local currencies. However, the continued weakness of the US dollar affected sales in the Americas, the company added.