BIC Releases Fourth Quarter and 2013 Results
Although net sales are down 0.6 percent from last year, BIC's approximately €1.9 billion (about $2.6 billion) net sales total is up 3.6 percent comparatively or 4.6 percent with constant currencies. That increase was 6.7 or 11.4 percent, respectively in the fourth quarter alone.
“We finish the year with a strong Q4 showing an increase in both net sales and operating margin and the full year 2013 was a good year for BIC combining market share gains in most geographies, solid organic sales growth for our consumer categories and strong cash generation," BIC's CEO Mario Guevara said. "This performance was accomplished thanks to BIC employees’ day-to-day commitment to offer customers and consumers high-quality innovative products at the right price.
2014 could bring more growth, including in the promotional products market, where BIC Graphic, Clearwater, Fla., saw a 2.3 percent decrease in sales in the fourth quarter and a 5 percent decrease over the course of 2013. In the U.S., the sales loss was due to a more competitive market, according to BIC.
"We enter 2014 with confidence due to positive momentum driving our business forward. In our consumer business, sales growth will benefit from the launch of new products in all categories and from the integration of Cello Pens. At the same time, we will continue to invest in our brand, in research and development and in increasing our manufacturing capacity. In advertising and promotional products, with customers’ service now restored and a new brand position as BIC Graphic, the team has started to build the right platform to recover sales growth.”
In a press release, BIC indicated the industry "has evolved into a price-driven industry as a result of the economic conditions faced during the past five years, while compliance and product safety has become top of mind" in its North American market.