DSM CFO: More price hikes in 2014 possible
Dutch food and chemicals group DSM on Tuesday reported solid earnings growth in the third quarter driven largely by acquisitions.
The company reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 342 million euros ($461.7 million) for the third quarter, compared to 270 million in the same quarter a year ago. The figure came in just above expectations of 340 million euros in a Reuters poll.
"We had a solid quarter in a challenging environment in the economy and the currency exchange rate, but nevertheless we delivered 27 percent higher EBITDA [compared to a year ago] and that was in all businesses," CFO Rolf-Dieter Schwalb told CNBC.
DSM, whose products are used to make a range of goods including dietary supplements, textiles and pharmaceuticals, has already pushed through a number of price increase in nutritional supplements.
It has faced lower consumer demand for Omega-3 fish oil products in particular following price hikes for the product to offset rising ingredient costs. Schwalb said it was tough to forecast price hikes for 2014.
"We just recently announced some price rises in some of the vitamins but we'll always have to see how much can be implemented. We have some good and bad experiences but it's very difficult to forecast," Rolf-Dieter Schwalb told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.
Calling the softness in demand one of those "irritations" the company had to deal with, he said DSM was not the only firm to suffer.
"In general, in the nutrition space in the human nutrition area we see some sluggish development but you hear the same from the large food companies in the world."
"Omega fish oil is a specific situation because the raw material prices went up significantly, we passed it through to consumers but it seems that the price increases at consumer level were somewhat too high...we know that this year's fisheries season is much bigger so fish oil prices should come down."
In a statement, the company said it was on track to deliver its 2013 EBITDA target of 1.4 billion euros.