Total sales came in at $654m compared to $560m for the corresponding 2009 period, a figure which chairman and CEO Greg Tough said was ‘slightly above’ the preliminary projections announced by the company in March.
Contributing to this solid start to the year were strong commercial performances from both the flavor and fragrance divisions, particularly when compared to 2009, and some elements of customer restocking, said Tough.
Consolidated operating profit increased to $104.5m in the first quarter compared to $81.9m in the corresponding 2009 period and net income rose 35 percent from $47.2m to $63.7m.
Fragrance categories post strong results
Net sales in IFF’s fragrance unit reached $354m, representing an increase of 18 percent on a local currency basis compared to 2009 figures.
According to the company, the improved results were boosted by the division’s continuing strong performance in emerging markets.
Greater Asia proved to be especially lucrative, with every fragrance compound category experiencing double-digit growth, the company said. In particular, sales in the functional fragrance category increased 33 percent, making it the star performer in this region.
Fragrance sales in North America experienced the least growth (12 percent), with a decrease of 2 percent in the functional fragrance sector offsetting double digit growth in the Fine & Beauty Care and Fragrance Ingredients categories.
North America drags down Flavor results
A subdued performance in North America was also experienced by IFF’s Flavors division, as sales fell 1 percent in this region, with the company noting that success in Dairy failed to counter ‘confectionary challenges’.
However, the division performed well overall, with net sales of $300m in the first quarter; an increase of 8 percent in local currency sales compared with 2009.
IFF said that growth was led by double-digit sales increases in the EAME and Asia regions due to a rise in volumes and new business. In Latin America, a 6 percent increase in sales resulted from a strong Savory,Confectionary and Dairy performance, offsetting the loss of non-strategic business that began in Q3 2009.
Tough cautioned that economic conditions remain fluid, although he was confident that the underlying health of the company’s commercial performance is strong.
He added that IFF will be looking to make ‘targeted investments’ in order to strengthen its market position over the course of the year.