Only an extraordinary pension return of Y27.7bn (€268m) dragged Japanese food, ingredients and pharma player Ajinomoto into the black for the March-September period as ordinary income slid 11% to Y39.2bn (€379m).
Group sales for the aspartame supplier dropped 1% to Y598.8bn (€5.8bn) over the six month period.
Growth in sales of seasonings and processed foods, and frozen foods meant domestic sales of food products grew 2% to register at Y226.5bn (€2.2bn).
“Sales of frozen food products for household use were firm due to strong sales of Gyoza and naturally defrosting products for use in boxed lunches, as well as other factors including the resumption of sales of certain products that were temporarily suspended in the previous year after the earthquake [of March 2011],” the company said.
International business dropped 0.1% to Y114.8bn (€1.12bn), “as growth in sales of seasonings and processed foods partly offset the negative effect of exchange rates.”
In regard to international sales of umami seasoning, Ajinomoto said, “sales volume of nucleotides grew, primarily in Asia, and sales rose substantially compared with the previous interim period.”
“However, sales of umami seasoning Ajinomoto for the food processing industry decreased significantly, impacted by unfavorable exchange rates and a decline in sales volumes attributable to increases in exports by competitors.”
The company said nothing specifically of aspartame.
AAK records record quarter with 33% ingredients gain
Swedish supplier AAK had a record Q3 with its food ingredients division that targets confectionery, bakery, infant and healthy sectors turning in record profit of SEK190 (€22.22m) for the quarter – 33% up on 2011.
Overall operating profits reached SEK273m (€31.93m) for the period, up 11% on Q3, 2011.
The healthy figures came despite sales dropping SEK185m (€21.63m) as raw material prices dropped.
Chocolate and confectionery fats registered profits of SEK88m (€10.29m), while technical products and feed achieved SEK22m million. Both divisions were up on 2011 figures.