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Symrise hikes forecast as higher prices, demand offset soaring costs

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By Jagoda Darlak and David Latona

(Reuters) -German flavour and fragrance maker Symrise forecast faster 2022 sales growth on Tuesday as it seeks to counter soaring cost inflation with price hikes while demand for its products remains robust.

The company, whose fragrances go into the perfumes of French luxury giants LVMH and Kering, now sees full-year organic sales growth significantly above 7%, compared with the 5% to 7% range it had forecast in March.

The group managed to pass on the bulk of the higher costs to customers in the first half of the year, but still had a "little ways to go", Chief Executive Heinz-Juergen Bertram told reporters in a call.

Shares in Symrise were down 1.2% at 0910 GMT, as the German blue-chip index fell 0.7%.

Bertram dismissed concerns about an interruption in the gas supply, saying that 70% of the company's energy requirements could be immediately met with alternative sources, such as fuel oil, if needed.

Germany's chemical industry, which is highly dependent on Russian gas imports, is scrambling to prepare for possible gas supply cuts in response to Western sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.

The German group's first-half revenue increased by 18.5% to 2.3 billion euros ($2.4 billion), slightly above analysts' average forecast of 2.22 billion in a company-provided poll https://vara-services.com/symrise/consensus-estimates.

Earnings per share were up 13% at 1.64 euros in the six months to June 30, beating the 1.55 euro consensus estimate.

Analysts from Citi said in a note that the pet food segment, with its high-double-digit growth and new capacity expansion, continued to be the key differentiator versus peers.

The group said all regions contributed to the positive sales performance in the division, with "particularly dynamic" development in the United States, France, Mexico, China and Southeast Asia.

($1 = 0.9733 euros)

(Reporting by Jagoda Darlak and David Latona in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi and Jan Harvey)

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