Flavours firm savours strong start

FLAVOUR and fragrance ingredients firm Treatt plc yesterday reported a strong start to its new financial year.

Treatt, which is based in Bury St Edmunds, said that sales between October 1 and February 14 had been “significantly higher” that during the same period a year earlier.

In December, Treatt posted a profit of �4.5million for the 12 months to Septemeber 30, representing a 26% increase on the previous year.

Yesterday, in an interim management statement ahead of its annual general meeting on February 25, the company said this momentum had been maintained, with sales benefiting from new business wins as well as rising prices.

Against a weak first quarter 12 months earlier, its American operation, Treatt USA, had made an “exceptional” start to the year, helped by the price of orange oil reaching new highs.

R C Treatt, its UK-based operating arm, had “continued its steady improvement”, with sales of aroma chemical products and activity in the Far East continuing to perform particularly well.

Earthoil, the group’s organic and fair trade business, had also seen a good start to the year, helped by the inclusion in first quarter figures of sales to its largest customer which were delayed from the previous financial year due to poor weather conditions in India.

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However, Treatt added that difficulty in passing on price increases to customers had put some pressure on margins, and it was too early in the year to be certain of the financial outcome.