On the back of total sales for the business - enzymes and microorganisms - exceeding €400m (DKK2,976m) for the first six months, the food enzyme sector of the business brought in €93m (DKK695m) worth of sales, translating as a one per cent rise on the year before and roughly one quarter of the firm's overall enzyme business that includes technical and feed enzymes.
But a growing trend in the US is seeing consumers avidly following the low-carb Atkins diet that eschews carbohydrates in favour of proteins - a phenomenon that has started to knock ingredients firms with a stake in the North American market.
"Sales to the baking industry continue to be negatively affected by lower bread consumption in the USA," said Novozymes in a statement yesterday.
By comparison, sales to the brewing industry were actually favourably affected by the low-carb diet that has an estimated 30 million followers in the US. According to the Bagsværd-based firm, enzymes sales to the brewing industry rose, 'partly due to an increase in the demand for low-carbohydrate beer produced using enzymes.'
Hinting at a steady outlook for the region in the next quarter, Novozymes said: "Taking the second quarter in isolation, sales to the baking industry have stabilised and sales to the wine and juice industry have increased, thanks to sales starting earlier this year than in the equivalent period of 2003."
A spokesperson for the firm told FoodNavigator.com that the low-carb trend has yet to affect food enzyme sales in Europe.
The firm reported a 2 per cent rise on total business sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa to DKK1,293m (€173m) for the first half, up from DKK1263m for the same period in 2003.
Looking forward to the rest of the year, Novozymes predicted that growth in net profit remains at 7 per cent, with growth in operating profit 'still expected' to reach 9 to 10 per cent. Net profit for the first half of 2004 rose by 5 per cent to DKK378m, up from 361m from the previous year.