The company also reported growth for BIC Graphic, which it refers to as its Advertising & Promotional Products unit. The division experienced net sales growth of 1.9% in the third quarter and 1.1% over the first nine months of 2014.
“Our nine-month results were good and in line with our full year expectations,” said Mario Guevara, CEO of BIC Group. “Benefiting from restored customer service and enhanced marketing programs, BIC Graphic has started to recover momentum with low-single digit growth, mainly in North America and particularly in hard goods. Net cash position remains very strong and we firmly believe we will achieve our full year objectives in both the Consumer and Advertising and Promotional businesses.”
In its public filing, the company said that net sales from its BIC Graphic division increased from 69.4 million euros ($87.7 million) in the same time period in 2013 to 70.8 million euros ($89.5 million) in 2014’s third quarter. While BIC Graphic’s sales in Europe were negatively impacted by the company’s performance in Southern Europe, its North American business “grew low-single digits driven by the Hard Goods segment thanks to the ‘Good Value’ proposition, new product launches and BritePix imprinted technology.”
The company also said that income from operations at its BIC Graphic unit fell by 7.4% in the period, from 3.8 million euros ($4.8 million) in 2013 to 3.6 million euros ($4.6 million) this year, impacted by “continued investments in marketing and trade support.”
BIC Graphic ranks as the fourth-largest supplier in the industry, after reporting 2013 North American ad specialty sales of $313 million, a 3.4% decrease from 2012. In its third-quarter filing, the company said it expects sales at BIC Graphic to grow by “low single digits” for full-year 2014.