US manufacturer of colours, flavours and fragrances Sensient Technologies saw revenue rise for the first quarter ended 31 March, 2003 by 10.3 per cent to $235.1 million (Euros 215m), up from $213.1 million for the same period in 2002. Improved performance in European flavour operations helped boost the results and offset lower US flavour demand.
The Flavors & Fragrances group revenue increased by 4.2 per cent to $139.5 million in the first quarter with operating income moving up 5.8 per cent to $20 million from $18.9 million in the prior year's first quarter.
New product development in the core North American food colour segment helped fuel higher revenue for the Color group which saw figures rising by 18 per cent to $89.6 million during the period. The company reports that operating income for the group was up 13.5 per cent to $20.2 million compared to $17.8 million in the prior year's first quarter.
"Our consistently strong performance demonstrates that our strategy for growth is succeeding. This is our sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit increases in earnings and comes after our announcement of a record 2002," said Kenneth P. Manning, chairman, president and CEO of Sensient Technologies.
Diluted earnings per share were up 19.4 per cent to 43 cents in the first quarter versus 36 cents per share in the comparable quarter in 2002. First quarter 2003 results include a tax benefit of three cents per share for the settlement of prior years' tax liabilities. Looking ahead to the rest of 2003 the company predicted this week that diluted earnings per share will reach $1.86, including the three cent tax benefit. Diluted earnings per share for second quarter 2003 are expected to be approximately 48 cents.
In 2002, in a move to drive revenue up, Sensient embarked on an acquisitions programme which saw the company purchasing US group Cardre, a producer of surface treated pigments, and the flavours and essential oil operations of German company C. Melchers. Manning commented at the end of 2002:"We have had a record year. Our performance in 2002 demonstrates that our strategy for growth continues to produce results."