DENMARK – Chr. Hansen has recorded 9% organic growth in revenue in the first six months of 2018/19 led by solid results in the Health & Nutrition segment.

During the period, EBIT before special items increased by 10% to EUR 150 million (US$168.55 million) while in the second quarter, organic growth was 8%, and EBIT before special items increased by 11%.

The company said that it maintains overall outlook for the full year with a focus on strong and profitable organic growth while also making significant investments in its business operations.

The growth was realized in all business areas; with Food Cultures & Enzymes increasing 10% and Natural Colors rose 5%.

Organic growth in Health & Nutrition was solid and with a more balanced growth contribution between Human Health and Animal Health compared to the performance in the first quarter.

This was however offset by livestock farming economics in North America, which the company says remains challenging.

In the second quarter, the company launched the CHY-MAX® Supreme, its latest enzyme addition for cheddar, continental and mozzarella cheese.

The enzyme enables cheesemakers to produce more milk and cheese in less time, without comprising on functionality.

According to the ingredient’s supplier, the enzyme is the most precise and innovative coagulant on the market, allowing for a significant yield increase of up to 1%.

In Natural Colors, the company secured important conversions in North America, but this was to some extent offset by weaker demand from Latin America in particular.

“We continued the solid momentum, with Food Cultures & Enzymes delivering strong organic growth with an increasing contribution from volume in Q2, which was in line with our expectations,” said CEO Mauricio Graber.

“Our EBIT margin before special items in the first half of the year increased by 0.8%-point and was driven by improved margins in all business areas.

In FC&E, we achieved a gross margin benefit of more than 1%-point from the ramp up of the new capacity in our facility in Copenhagen, which more than offsets the increasing investments we are making in the business.

“We continue to pursue strong and profitable organic growth while also investing significantly for the future.

“The progress in the first half year makes us confident about our overall outlook, which is maintained and in line with our long-term financial ambition.”

To support its capabilities in Human Microbiome, Chr. Hansen has joined forces with Lonza AG, a pharma contract manufacturing company to accelerate production of biotherapeutic products for pharma and biotechnology industries.

Graber says the joint venture is a critical investment by the company and will create a global pioneer and partner of choice for production of live biotherapeutic products.

Meanwhile, the company has announced that Jacob Vishof Paulsen, currently EVP of the EMEA and North American regions has been named head Food Cultures & Enzymes, succeeding Christoffer Lorenzen who will be leaving the company.

Christoffer will leave his position at Chr. Hansen by the end of June 2019 and will join Karo Pharma in Sweden as CEO.