By  on November 5, 2010

Fragrance supplier International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. reported Thursday that third-quarter profits increased 45.9 percent to $77 million, or 95 cents a diluted share, compared with earnings of $52.8 million, or 66 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Results included a 3 cent per share expense from ongoing restructuring in Europe, bringing adjusted EPS to 98 cents, compared with adjusted EPS of 82 cents in 2009, when restructuring and employee-separation costs resulted in a 16 cent per share expense. Wall Street estimated quarterly EPS at 87 cents, according to Yahoo Finance.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, net sales rose 9.9 percent to $673.3 million from $612.6 million in the year-ago period. Sales in local currency increased 13 percent.

“All categories performed at or above expectations, as both flavor and fragrance results were once again supported by strong new win performance,” chairman and chief executive officer Doug Tough said.

He noted quarterly margins were greater than they have been in more than five years. The firm’s gross margin was $285 million, a 14.5 percent gain from $248.9 million in the year-ago period.

Tough said IFF “expects local currency sales in the fourth quarter to remain strong.”

Sales of the firm’s fragrances division, which reached $372.7 million (up 10.5 percent), outpaced the flavors division’s $300.5 million in sales (up 9.1 percent).

In terms of overall fragrance sales performance by region, Latin America led the way with one-quarter of the business. Greater Asia grabbed 14 percent and North America 11 percent.

For the first nine months of the year, profits climbed 40.5 percent to $208 million, or $2.58 a share, from $148.1 million, or $1.86, in the same period last year. Sales totaled $1.99 billion, a 14.5 percent increase from $1.74 billion.

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