The Flavour Division reported sales of CHF 2,251 million, representing a growth rate of 7.5% in local currencies and an increase of 5.4% in Swiss francs.
The strong momentum experienced in the first six months across all regions and segments continued on top of strong comparables in the second half of 2010. Growth has been strong due to the continued successful execution of the divisional growth strategies, such as the focus on developing markets, Health and Wellness initiatives and with targeted key accounts.
The Flavour Division saw an accelerating momentum in North America and Europe and continued strong growth across Asia Pacific and Latin America. All major segments posted gains with Beverage, Snacks and Sweet Goods delivering double-digit growth.
The briefs pipeline was strong throughout the year, supported by the continued focus of our customers on innovative products.
EBITDA increased to CHF 489 million from CHF 425 million last year. The comparable EBITDA increased to CHF 518 million from CHF 450 million reported last year. The comparable EBITDA margin increased to 23.0% in 2010 from 21.1% in 2009, mainly as a result of the higher sales, higher gross profit and tightly controlled expenses.
Operating income rose to CHF 317 million from CHF 269 million last year. The operating margin on a comparable basis increased to 15.9% from 13.9% reported last year. On a comparable basis, operating income was CHF 358 million, above the CHF 297 million reported last year.
Throughout all regions and segments, the Flavour Division worked closely with its customers on growth and innovation opportunities. In Health and Wellness applications, the division continued its successful commercialisation of sweetness and salt replacement solutions, translating into double-digit growth rate in this market segment.