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." Care chemicals lead the way The company's care chemicals division reported particularly good results with sales increasing 6.7 per cent to €1.4bn during the year. Growth was experienced in both its performance ingredients and primary surfactants business units. Furthermore, a focus throughout the year on 'green' and naturally sourced ingredients for personal and home care products was well received by customers, according to the company. Looking at the company's other business divisions, nutrition and health reported a 4.7 per cent increase in sales to reach €331m. 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." Central and South America particularly strongWhile sales fell slightly in Europe for the year, sales in Central and South America provided the greatest growth at 16.1 per cent. Sales in Asia-Pacific were also positive, growing 14.6 per cent in the region. The company has recently opened a liaison office in Mumbai, India, in an attempt to tap into the new business opportunities presented by the region. The office will be used to analyse market trends, strengthen connections with Indian companies, assess local manufacturing possibilities and liaise with universities and institutes for R&D opportunities. Cost saving in the future Looking forward, Trius said the Monheim-based specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients 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."