Swiss flavours and fragrances maker Givaudan has reported strong first-quarter sales, with results boosted by the acquisition of Quest International.

Givaudan posted sales of CHF1.05bn (US$1.04bn) for the first quarter in 2008, an increase of 18.3%.

The group's flavour division recorded sales of CHF563.7m, an increase of 24.3%, excluding the effect of currency exchange.

Regionally, the Swiss group said it saw double-digit growth in many developing markets. Givaudan attributed strong growth in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India to new partnerships and clients.

Dairy and savoury ingredients performed well in Europe, Africa and the Middle East while its North America businesses performed strongly in the beverage sector, the company said.

However, in Latin America sales were down, especially in Brazil. Givaudan said this drop was due to the particularly strong results posted for the first quarter of last year.

Looking to the year ahead the company expects its sales to grow in line with the market if the impact of changes to the product portfolio and business divestiture is excluded.

Givaudan added that it hopes to reach the margin levels enjoyed before the Quest acquisition by 2010 and will generate CHF130m in acquisition related savings in 2008.