BIC Group Reports First Half 2012 Results
BIC Group, the international company behind BIC Advertising & Promotional Product (BIC APP) which controls the Norwood & BIC Graphic USA brands, today released its financial figures for the first half of the year. The company reported net sales up 5.8 percent on a comparative basis at 945.8 million euros (approximately $1.167 billion) across all groups.
"Confirming consumers' preference for BIC products around the world, our Group achieved good and solid First Half results," said Mario Guevara, chief executive officer of BIC Group. "During the second quarter, and as anticipated, the pace of net sales growth has slowed down; normalized income from operations grew faster than in Q1, driven by the improvement in operational efficiency in both consumer business and advertising and promotional products and in spite of increased investment in research and development, brand support and manufacturing capacities."
For the first half of the year, net sales for the promotional branches had a slight decrease of 0.1 percent, to 127.2 million euros ($157 million). The decline was due primarily to European sales, which decreased double-digits due to markets in Spain, Italy and Greece. U.S. sales were stable and sales in developing markets increased by double-digit margins.
In the filing, BIC Group also reported that it is continuing with the development of new writing instrument facilities in Tunisia, which should be completed in 2013. BIC Group also received approval for the acquisition of 40 percent of the shares of Cello Pens, one of the world's largest pen manufacturers based in India. As of June 30, 2012, the purchase remains pending.
The company said that its full year net sales should remain steady with 2011 levels. Sales for BIC APP are expected to decline low-to-mid single digits, but due to benefits from integration, margins will remain comparable to 2011 levels.
"For the balance of the year, our objective is to continue to reinforce our positions in this intensely competitive and still challenging economic environment. In this context, we expect to maintain the 2012 Group normalized Income From Operations margin close to 2011's peak level and we will continue to invest to secure for long-term growth," Guevara said.
For more information, visit BIC Group's website.