Novozymes says a 15% increase in group sales for 2010 follows strong growth in food enzymes, particularly in Latin America.
According to the Danish bio-tech firm's full-year financial statement, group sales totalled DKK 9,724m, with net profits up 35% to DKK 1,614m compared with 2009, while organic sales grew 11% compared with last year.
Overall enzyme demand was up 17% year-on-year with sales of DKK 9,109m, said the firm, with food enzymes one of the strongest contributors to performance, along with detergent and technical products.
Specific food enzyme sales were up 18% in DKK compared with 2009, although Novozymes said the divestment of its non-core ingredient activities in India reduced sales growth by around 1%.
Demand for specialist food enzymes up
“Higher demand, particularly for baking and brewing enzymes for enhanced quality, performance and yields, was the main driver behind the growth,” said Novozymes.
“For the brewing industry in particular, it should be remembered that 2009 was a relatively easy comparison. Newly introduced products in the food industry continued to contribute positively to growth.”
In geographical terms, Latin American sales saw the strongest growth across the board, up 27% in DKK terms on 2009 figures, with total enzyme and microorganism sales of DKK 753m, up from DKK 595m last year.
Food enzymes performed particular well in Novozyme’s largest North American market (which overtook Europe during 2010) with sales were up 18% in DKK, due to particularly strong sales within the US ethanol industry.
Novozymes’ second biggest market, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, saw sales grow 11% to DKK 3,564m, with food and detergent sales the main contributors, while sales of biopharmaceutical ingredients fell.
2010 targets for water, energy and CO2 efficiency measure Novozyme's performance against 2005 levels, and efficiency for the respective variables improved by 2%, 3% and 14% in 2009, while the firm estimated that CO2 emissions from customer applications fell by 13m tonnes.
Stepping-up investment in 2011
Steen Riisgaards, president and ceo, Novozymes, said: “We expect continued positive sales growth in 2011, and although we will be stepping-up our activity levels, we still envisage a very healthy profit margin in 2011 above our long-term target.
"For 2011, sales are expected to grow by 7-10% in DKK, local currency and organically, and we expect an EBIT margin of 21-22%, including an investment of DKK 150m in additional initiatives in R&D and business-building activities."
Recent Novozyme food enzyme launches in the fourth quarter of 2010 included Pectinex Ultra AFP, a new generation of pectinases developed to break down the cell walls of fruits during food processing; Vinoflow Max introduced a new concept for the wine industry by optimising filtration processes, with the aim of minimising production losses.