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IFF Earnings Fall, But Management Sees Long-Term Growth

Goldstein touts recent initiatives on investor call

NEW YORK – Despite posting fourth-quarter earnings that dropped by nearly two-thirds, hurt in part by charges stemming from a recently announced elimination of 300 positions, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Richard A. Goldstein remained optimistic on the company’s future during a conference call with investors today.

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Goldstein, who will retire his roles during the company’s May shareholders meeting, touted on the post-earnings conference call IFF’s progress in technology and human resources initiatives over the past few years. “IFF is well positioned to deliver long-term growth and increase shareholder value,” he said. “The timing is right to put the succession plan into effect.”

He added, “For a company to remain vibrant, it is important that new ideas and initiatives are constantly evolving. And this allowed is to happen most effectively through a periodic change in leadership.”

IFF reported on Wednesday that fourth-quarter net earnings were down 63 percent to $15.2 million, or 16 cents a diluted share. The results included an after-tax charge of 17 cents related to the elimination of 300 jobs, or 6 percent of its total workforce, in the company’s European and North American regions. Comparatively, IFF had reported earnings of $40.9 million, or 43 cents, in last year’s fourth quarter. Total fourth-quarter sales were down 1.4 percent at $461.7 million.

IFF guided earnings-per-share for fiscal 2006 to $2.23 to $2.31, which is within range of analysts’ $2.28 estimate.