Demand for foods with low fat and salt content to lift Chr Hansen sales

Danish food ingredients maker Chr Hansen said increasing demand for low- fat yoghurt and reduced-salt cheese would lift its sales this year after the company reported a 10% rise in revenue in the third quarter.

Chr Hansen said operating profit rose 4.2% in March- May to €55m, in line with a forecast of €55.5m in a Reuters poll. Rising levels of obesity as people in the developing world adopt urban lifestyles has fuelled concern about high levels of fat, sugar, and salt in food.

Chr Hansen makes bacteria for yoghurt and cheese, food colourings and enzymes and its customers include Danone and Nestle.

“We see very high demand for a yoghurt culture which helps to reduce fat in yoghurt and we see very keen interest in cheese cultures that reduce salt content in cheese,” chief financial officer Kurt Pedersen told Reuters.

The cultures and enzymes divisions count for roughly two-thirds of revenue.

The company faces difficult market conditions in its natural colours division where sales fell 8% in the quarter after it lost a South American customer, who switched to cheaper synthetic colours instead of using carmine, a food colouring made from cactus-dwelling lice in Peru.

For the full-year it still expects organic growth of 7%-9% and an operating margin of more than 26%.


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