By  on August 6, 2009

New York-based fragrance supplier International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. posted a 28.3 percent drop in profits on lower revenues during the second quarter ended June 30 as the company’s fragrance business remained “challenging.”

The firm reported net earnings of $48.1 million, or 60 cents a diluted share, compared with $67 million, or 83 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues declined 10.7 percent to $568.3 million, from $636.1 million a year ago. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, revenues were down 4 percent.

Excluding onetime items such as restructuring and employee separation costs, as well as a tax benefit in the second quarter of 2008, earnings per share for the most recent quarter was 65 cents, compared with 81 cents a share a year ago.

Wall Street analysts had estimated EPS of 62 cents, according to Yahoo Finance.

“I am encouraged with the progress made in the second quarter,” said Robert M. Amen, IFF’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our flavors business continues to perform very well in a difficult environment. It is encouraging to see solid growth in functional fragrance; however, fine fragrance remains challenging.”

Fragrance sales during the quarter came in at $298.5 million, a 13.8 percent decline from $346.3 million in the year-ago period. Operating profits in the fragrance division were $34.9 million, down 38 percent from $56.3 million in last year’s quarter.

In the first six months of the year, fragrance sales declined 11.5 percent to $592 million from $669.1 million in the comparable 2008 period.

Year-to-date net income fell 22.5 percent to $95.3 million, or $1.20 a share, from $123 million, or $1.52 a share, last year. IFF registered $1.13 billion in sales for the first six months, an 8.5 percent slide from $1.23 billion in the year-ago period.

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