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Enzymes for detergents gain ground

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After several years of slow growth in sales of enzymes for detergents, producers have begun buying more of Novozymes’ enzymes. The reasons for growth include increased sales in Western Europe and increasing prosperity in Asia and Latin America.

After several years of low growth, detergent producers have begun buying more of Novozymes’ enzymes. Compared with sales in 2006, sales of enzymes for detergents rose by 10% in 2007. This meant sales totaled DKK 2,239 million.

In terms of the individual markets, there are various reasons for the renewed growth.

Larger market share in Western Europe
One important reason is that Novozymes has gained a larger market share in Western Europe. The growth is due mainly to producers increasing the enzyme content of European detergents – and two new products, Stainzyme® Plus and Mannaway®, have sold particularly well.

Greater demand for high-quality detergents
Another reason for the increased sales of detergent enzymes can be found in Asia and Latin America. For some time at Novozymes, we have felt the effects of a more wealthy population. This has resulted in more washing machines being purchased, which, in turn, has led to increased detergent sales.

The higher affluence means that more and more people can afford to buy higher quality detergents, which typically contain the most enzymes.

Benefiting the environment + Open

Sustainable detergents
At Novozymes, we are also aware that consumers are demanding energy-efficient products. In Europe, there is a long tradition of washing clothes in water that is 40, 60 or even 90°C. In Asia, clothes are washed in cold water, which saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions. And in this area in particular, Novozymes’ enzymes have some unique qualities. With enzymes such as Stainzyme® Plus and Polarzyme® clothes can be washed clean at temperatures as low as 20°C. These enzymes are used in cold-water detergents, which are beginning to gain ground in Western Europe.

Enzymes for the future
Throughout Novozymes’ history, enzymes for detergents have been our largest business area. At the present, sales to the detergent industry comprise about 30% of the company’s total sales. In the long term, sales of enzymes for detergents are expected to rise by 3-5% – slightly more than general market growth.