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International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) announced that 2009 fourth quarter revenue grew 9% over the prior year period to $586 million. For the full year, the company reported revenue of $2.3 billion, a 3% decrease over the prior year.
"Given the economic challenges we faced over the course of the year, we are very pleased with how we finished 2009," said Kevin Berryman, executive vice president and CFO, IFF. "The combination of focused strategies, disciplined cost control and prudent working capital management enabled us to build sales, earnings and cash flow momentum in the second half of the year. We took important steps to strengthen our product portfolio, enhance our geographic growth opportunities and optimize our manufacturing and supply chain footprint to further reinforce our competitive position."
"As our strategic initiatives continue to gain traction and we adapt to an ever changing economy, we believe that we are well-positioned to return to local currency sales growth and improve on our overall profitability in 2010."
Fine fragrance and beauty care local currency sales declined 8% as a result of sharp declines in retail consumption, as well as supply chain contraction in North America and Europe in the fine fragrance business. Fragrance ingredients local currency sales also fell 2% primarily due to erosion in the fine fragrance category and customer de-stocking in the first half of the year. While there was weakness in these segments in 2009, trends improved in the second half, supported by fragrance ingredients sales returning to positive growth in the second half of 2009. Functional fragrance performance consistently improved over the previous three quarters, finishing with 5% local currency growth globally as new wins in, among other categories, the personal wash category. Beauty care also improved over the previous three quarters, as a strong performance in hair care and toiletries in the emerging markets drove results.
On a local currency basis, Flavor sales for 2009 increased 2% over the prior year. Greater Asia, Latin American and North America delivered solid growth resulting from new wins and price increases that more than offset weak economic conditions. Local currency sales in Europe remained constant as the economic slowdown and inventory reductions by our customers impacted our results.