BIC APP, the parent division of Counselor Top 40 supplier Norwood (asi/74400) and BIC Graphic North America (asi/40480), has reported its sales decreased 2.3% on a comparative basis to 69.4 million euros ($95.7 million) during the third quarter of 2013. For the first nine months of this year, BIC APP said revenues fell by 6.2% to 184.5 million euros ($245.3 million).
"As expected, BIC APP sales performance is improving regularly quarter over quarter, in the U.S. as well as in Europe," said Mario Guevara, CEO of BIC Group.
In Q3, BIC APP reported a normalized IFO margin of 5.8%, down from 8.4% in the third quarter of last year. For the first 9 months of 2013, BIC APP's normalized IFO margin was 1.3%, compared to 4.3% in 2012 – with the decrease due to a drop in net sales.
"In Europe, the hard goods segment remained under pressure, notably in southern countries, while stationery products are showing improvement," the company said. "Performance was good in France." In the U.S., meanwhile, during the first nine months of 2013, "BIC net sales continued to be weak. However, the third quarter showed some recovery. Our new products, especially Brite-Pix imprinted technology products, have been well received by customers, performing in line with our expectations," the company said.
BIC APP, which includes North American and European entities, continues to expect its full-year 2013 net sales to "decline low to mid-single digits." Because of the predicted decline in sales, BIC APP expects it "will realize less favorable volume absorption and therefore normalized IFO margin could decline to a mid to low-single digit level." Ranked by Counselor as the fourth-largest supplier in the industry, Norwood and BIC Graphic reported its 2012 sales fell to $324 million, a year-over-year decrease of 7.4%.