by Yang Jingzhong, Gunnar Blaschke
COPENHAGEN, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Peder Holk Nielsen, the would-be CEO of world enzyme giant Novozymes, said he is confident on the growth of enzyme industry and his company.
"The goal we had made for 2012 was between 4 and 8 percent year on year growth, and we came out in the very low end," Nielsen told Xinhua in an interview this week. Novozymes posted an annual profit of 360 million U.S. dollars last year.
Despite a lower-than-expected performance of the company in 2012, Nielsen reassured the shareholders that Novozymes will pick up speed in growth within a few years.
The long term goal for Novozymes is an annual growth rate of 10 percent.Nielsen said: "The growth rate we have put up today is 10 percent, and that's all about innovation, so we spent about 14 percent of our turnover on research and development."
"With our sustainable solutions and close customer relationships, we have a very strong position for expanding our business," Nielsen added.
Nielsen said the potential for bio fuel is huge. "In U.S. today ethanol accounts for 10 percent of all gasoline, in Europe it is much less and also less in Asia. If you include all the biomass resources of the world we could easily replace 25 percent of the gasoline in the world with something that has been growing on a field."
Since 2000, Novozymes has delivered average annual growth rates of 7 to 8 percent and increased returns of invested capital from 10 to 20 percent. The company holds 47 percent of the global market for industrial enzymes and is spearheading the growing use of microorganisms and industrial biotechnology products across a range of industries.
Spending 14 percent of the annual turnover each year, innovation and research play an important part in the company's strategy. This course will be unchanged under the new leadership and Novozymes will continue to focus on innovation, partnerships and sustainability.
"It is all about getting the value out of that and making sure that the customers recognizes what we are doing and want to pay for it. That's essential in the growth engine of Novozymes," said Nielsen.
In 2012, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of Novozymes rose 17 percent to 2,745 million Danish kroner (around 490 million U.S. dollars), up from 2,340 million kroner in 2011, while the EBIT margin rose to 24.4 percent.
The Board of Directors of Novozymes has appointed Nielsen as President and CEO of the Danish industrial enzyme company with effect from April 1, 2013.
He is to replace top leader Steen Risgaard who has been leading the company for 12 years. Nielsen has been Executive Vice President of Novozymes since 2000.