International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) announced that its board of directors has approved an increase to the company's quarterly dividend from $0.23 to $0.25 per common share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 2, 2008, to shareholders of record on Sept. 18, 2008. IFF has increased its dividend 19% since October 2006. The company's goal is to pay an annual dividend in the range of 30% to 35% of earnings.
In addition, IFF announced that it completed its accelerated share repurchase ("ASR") program during the second quarter 2008. The ASR program was a component of the company's share buyback activities and allowed for the repurchase of up to 15% of its shares outstanding.
"Today's announcement underscores IFF's commitment to our shareholders," said Robert M. Amen, chairman and CEO. "By increasing the dividend and completing the accelerated share repurchase program, we are building shareholder value through the disciplined use of our free cash flow."
Under the ASR program, which was announced on Sept.17, 2007, IFF paid $450 million in return for 8 million shares.