Swiss flavours and fragrances group Givaudan has blamed its drop in first-quarter sales on destocking through the supply chain.

The ingredients company saw sales fall 7.3% in the first three months of its fiscal year, down to CHF976.1m (US$854m).

The group predicted that, despite the “challenging” environment, the market should remain “resilient” for the remainder of the year, with the exception of fine fragrances and some consumer products and flavours.

“In a challenging environment, Givaudan continues to focus on its growth initiatives to increase its share in developing countries and in key market segments over the coming five years,” the company said.

Givaudan said it expects to outgrow the underlying market for the full year, although it said it was hard to give a precise forecast.

It added it remains on course to meet a savings target of CHF200m by 2010.