Israeli flavours and ingredients group Frutarom has posted a 38.1% rise in fourth-quarter sales to US$72.6m, with quarterly gross profit up 31.1% at $25.7m.

Operating profit for the quarter rose by 56.0% to $7.8m, and net profit was up by 9.1% at $5.3m. For the full year, sales rose by 17.8% to $287.2m, and net profit increased by 10.6% to $29.7m. Earnings per share for 2006 rose to $0.52, from $0.49 in 2005.

Frutarom reported that during the fourth quarter it achieved double-digit organic growth in core activities in both its flavours and ingredients divisions.

The company said that growth in the fourth-quarter sales had, however, been offset by a decline in the selling prices of natural raw materials sold by Frutarom's fine ingredients division to the food, flavour and fragrance industries, and in the selling prices of natural flavours produced by its flavours division.

Frutarom expanded through acquisition in 2006. In January, the company purchased 70% of the share equity of the Nesse group, and at the beginning of October 2006, Frutarom acquired total ownership of the Acatris Health group. The company said that both of these acquisitions contributed to sales growth.