BIC Adverting and Promotional Products, which includes Norwood and BIC Graphic Europe, Antalis Promotional Products and BIC Graphic North America has reported its sales fell 5.6% on a comparative basis to 127.2 million euros ($157.2 million) during the first six months of 2012.
The decrease, an earnings statement showed, was largely the result of struggles in Spain, Italy and Greece where BIC’s promotional product sales dropped significantly due to the challenging economic climate of those countries.
Commenting on BIC Group results, Mario Guevara, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Confirming consumers’ preference for BIC® products around the world, our Group achieved good and solid First Half results.
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 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.”
In its earnings statement, BIC also noted positive change in BIC APP’s income from operations, which was down 3.5% for the first half of 2011, but was up 2.7% during the same six-month period this year. The gains were made, the company said, as BIC and Norwood benefited “from the strong improvement of manufacturing efficiency related to the integration plan.”
BIC APP, now expects a “low to mid-single digit” decline in sales for 2012 on a comparative basis.