Counselor Top 40 supplier BIC Graphic (asi/40480) reported a 0.7% rise in net sales on a comparative basis in the first half of 2014, according to an earnings report released by its parent company, BIC Group. The supplier recorded a 0.1% revenue increase on a comparative basis in Q2 – marking the second consecutive quarterly gain. The report attributed slight sales growth in North America to the company’s ‘Good Value’ proposition and its BritePix imprinted technology, “which continued to perform in line with expectations.” While sales were higher in North America, BIC Graphic’s revenues fell in Europe due to the discontinuation of more than 200 products, the company said.
The supplier’s normalized IFO margin, meanwhile, was -4.2% for the first half (versus -1.4% in H1 2013) and -1.6% (versus 2% in Q2 2013) for the second quarter. The report said the decline was “mainly due to the continued investments in marketing and trade support.”
Aside from ad specialties, BIC Group’s consumer business posted strong gains in its three main product categories – stationary, lighters and shavers. Overall, BIC Group recorded 6.1% net sales growth for the first half of the year and 7.6% growth in the second quarter. Its normalized IFO margin was 19.3% in H1. BIC Group’s first half-results “illustrate the ability of our teams to achieve solid performance in both developed and developing markets,” said BIC Group CEO Mario Guevara.
BIG Graphic maintained its full-year outlook of low-single digit growth on a comparative basis, and said its normalized IFO margin “should be maintained close to mid-single digits.” In Q1, BIC Graphic posted a comparative annual revenue increase of 1.4%, its first quarter of net sales growth since its acquisition of Norwood in 2009. Ranked by Counselor as the fourth-largest supplier in the industry, BIC Graphic reported 2013 North American ad specialty sales of $313 million, a year-over-year decrease of 3.4%.