Sensient Technologies reports higher profit despite lower sales

Foreign currency translation impacts color, flavor and fragrance manufacturer

Sensient headquarters
The Sensient Technologies headquarters is in the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies Corp., which makes and markets colors, flavors and fragrances on a global scale, today reported a higher profit on lower sales in its first quarter.

Sensient headquarters
The Sensient Technologies headquarters is in the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.

First quarter net income was $37.2 million, or 69 cents per diluted share, up from $30.5 million, or 64 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

Operating income was $47.5 million in the quarter, up from $46.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue totaled $342.5 million in the first quarter, down from $346.2 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Sensient attributed some of the drag to foreign currency translation, which reduced revenue by 3.5 percent, operating income by 3.4 percent and earnings per share by three cents.

The company is still in the process of implementing its restructuring plan initiated in 2014, but related expenses are decreasing. Restructuring costs reduced operating income by $3.3 million, or 6 cents per share, in this year’s first quarter and $7.1 million, or 12 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015. Restructuring costs hit earnings in the fourth quarter.

“Sensient had a good quarter driven by strong results from Color and Asia Pacific,” said Paul Manning, president and chief executive officer of Sensient Technologies Corp. “The Color Group had strong performances from the Cosmetics and Food Colors businesses, and Asia Pacific had solid growth in several markets. Flavors & Fragrances had a challenging quarter, but I expect the group to recover and meet its full-year growth targets. Our strategy is working and I am very optimistic about the future.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.