Firmenich acquired the Danish firm's flavours unit in July - a move it expects to reinforce its product offering and market coverage, especially in vanilla, citrus and dairy, flavours, natural flavours and fragrances, and bases for ice cream and beverages. When the deal was first announced in May, Danisco said the companies had also forged a partnership that would allow it to keep something of a hand in the flavours market. Few details were given at that time. In its annual report published yesterday, Firmenich said that the "pioneering partnership… [would] offer the best in taste and texture to the market". "In addition, a joint applied research team will work to better understand the interaction of taste and texture ingredients with other elements of the food matrix, and to satisfy growing consumer demand for healthier food choices". The arrangement is an excellent example of how ingredients firms can share capabilities to develop tools that meet manufacturers' needs and tap core trends. In its annual report, published yesterday, the privately-owned flavours and fragrance player said that sales for the whole company grew by 9.7 per cent in local currency and by 8.6 per cent in local currency, to reach CHF 2.5bn (€1.49bn). Organic growth in flavours was described as "robust". In particular, beverage posted its second successive year of double-digit growth, with a particularly strong showing in citrus said to "reinforce [its] leadership in this key tonality". Sweet goods also recorded good results, especially in oral care. The company recently launched a new proprietary mouthfeel technology called Novamint, which is aimed at oral care products like toothpaste and functional chewing gum. More new ingredients to bolster the flavourists' palette are expected to emerge from the pipeline in the near future. On a geographical basis the company pointed out that the emerging markets have continued to boost growth figures, with Asia and Latin America singled out in particular. Sales in Europe and North American have also been healthy. However, with the continuing dampening of retail spend in the US, the company described sales growth in the North American region as being 'more moderate'. Firmenich is currently the third largest fragrance and flavours company in the world, behind fellow Swiss company Givaudan and US-based International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF). In the report the company said it remains committed to independence, and will continue to remain 100 per cent owned by the Firmenich family, ensuring that it remains almost unique in an industry dominated by publicly listed players. Its private status means it does not have to release full financial information.