BIC Reports Quarterly Financials

Parent Division Of Top 40 Supplier Norwood And BIC Graphic North America

BIC APPBIC APP, the parent division of Counselor Top 40 supplier Norwood (asi/74400) and BIC Graphic North America (asi/40480), has reported its sales decreased 11.3% on a comparable basis to 74.8 million euros ($97 million) in the third quarter. The losses, according to BIC, are attributable to "cautious" sales conditions in the U.S. and unexpected issues caused by a technology upgrade. "While Europe continued to suffer from the softness of southern countries, BIC APP U.S. net sales were negatively impacted by temporary disruptions due to the implementation of our new Enterprise Resource Planning system," the company said.

For the first nine months of 2012, sales at BIC APP have fallen by 7.7% compared to the same period last year. In contrast, BIC Group's overall revenues – which include sales of stationery products, shavers and lighters – have increased worldwide by 4% through Q3, reaching 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion). During Q3, BIC Group's sales improved by 0.5% on a comparable basis to 488.8 million euros ($634 million).

"We maintain our strategy: Consistently invest in our business to generate profitable long-term growth," said Mario Guevara, CEO of BIC Group. "Overall, the BIC brand continues to be well-received by consumers around the world, because it always stands for high quality and value."

BIC APP, which includes Norwood and BIC Graphic North America, as well as Europe-based Antalis Promotional Products, now expects its 2012 sales to decrease by nearly 8% on a comparative basis, a less optimistic outlook than the division presented earlier this year. Ranked by Counselor as the fourth-largest supplier in the industry, Norwood and BIC Graphic North America reported its 2011 sales fell to $350 million, down from $385 million in 2010.