Novozymes has high hopes following strong Q1

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Spurred on by a positive set of first quarter results, Novozymes
has adjusted its expectations for 2007 upwards, including the
effect of the recent patent dispute settlement with Danisco.

The Danish group reported a sales increase of 18 per cent for the first three months of the year to DKK 1,633m (€219m), and a 15 per cent operating profit increase to DKK 313m (€42). Subsequently, it expects growth in sales in DKK to be 8 to 10 per cent for the full year (11 to 13 per cent in local currencies) and 11 to 13 per cent in operating profit. The group reported total 2006 sales of DKK 680m (€91m) and operating profit of DKK 1,340m (€180m). The revised expectations are subject to exchange rates for the company's key currencies remaining the same throughout the year. In food enzymes sales rose by 12 per cent in DKK and 17 per cent in local currencies. The company said that much of this growth could be attributed to progress in baking enzymes, especially from Europe. Enzymes for processed foods also contributed to sales growth, as did "renewed growth"​ in sales of brewing enzymes. Indeed amongst the slate of new launches during the quarter was Viscoferm, an enzyme intended for the alcohol industry, to reduce viscosity and improve utilisation of the raw material - and therefore reduce production costs. Although occurring after the end of the quarter, the settlement with Danisco is included in Novozymes' revised expectations. It is expected to contribute five to seven per cent operating profit growth. Following the decision of a court in Delaware, USA, in February, Danisco is to pay $15.3m inclusive of patent infringement damages of $8.2m in settlement of its bioethanol enzyme dispute between its subsidiary Genencor and Novozymes. Danisco voluntarily withdrew its product from the market only after a first patent infringement ruling in August last year. The February ruling ordered Danisco to pay damages of $4m (€2.9m), which was subsequently doubled as the court found the case to be one of 'willful infringement'. Novozymes was also awarded a share of its attorney's fees and costs. However a Novozymes spokesperson says the company has lost as much as $20m (€14.7m) in profits due to the patent infringement. A report from Business Communications Company estimated that by 2009 the European enzyme market would reach €1.83 billion. The market for bakery enzymes came in at €32.1 million in 2003, expected to climb to €52.3 million by 2010.

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