Financial digest, 8 March 2012: Senomyx, Nespresso, Nichols

Shaun Weston8 Mar 2012 (Updated 2 Aug 2012)

The latest financial news for 8 March 2012 includes Senomyx, Nestlé Nespresso, Brown-Forman, Nichols, Frigoglass, JBT and Ambev.

Senomyx

Flavour development company Senomyx posts a 9% rise in FY 2011 revenue to US$31.3m, with net loss easing to US$8.7m from US$10.7m the previous year.

Nestlé Nespresso

Nestlé Nespresso reports a 20% organic growth in FY 2011 sales to CHF 3.5bn, and announces plans to grow its retail network with the opening of more than 40 new boutiques in 2012.

Brown-Forman Corporation

For the first nine months of its fiscal year ended 31 January 2012, Brown-Forman Corporation increased net sales on a reported basis 8% to $2.8bn, grew diluted earnings per share 2% to $2.83 and improved reported operating income 1% to $638m.

Net sales on a reported basis for its third quarter were $959m, diluted earnings per share were $0.93 and reported operating income was $206m. Excluding the net effect of the Hopland-based wine business, diluted earnings per share were up 8% for the first nine months and 1% for the quarter.

Nichols

Nichols plc has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2011. Highlights include group sales up 18% to £98.9m (2010: £83.9m), profit before tax up 20% to £18.1m (2010: £15.1m pre-exceptional) and EPS up 20% to 36.28p (2010: 30.22p pre-exceptional).

Proposed final dividend of 10.30p making the total dividend for the year 15.30p up 13% (2010:13.55p), net cash £20.1m (2010: £15.0m), UK soft drinks sales grew at more than twice the market growth rate and international sales grew by 31% against the prior year.

Ambev

Ambev has announced its results for the 2011 fourth quarter and full-year results.

In the fourth quarter, net sales increased 11.6% driven mainly by price increases partially offset by higher taxes. Net revenue/hl grew 10.6%, and organic volumes increased 0.9% across regions. This performance enabled the company to end 2011 with net sales increasing 9.9%, net revenue/hl growing 9.0% while volumes grew 0.8% compared to FY 2010.

JBT Corporation

JBT Corporation has reported fourth quarter and full year 2011 results.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $271.5m, up 18% compared to the third quarter but down 5% relative to the prior year's fourth quarter. The company recorded $10.3m in pre-tax restructuring charges for cost reduction actions in its FoodTech segment.

Fourth quarter 2011 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.25, net of $0.23 per diluted share in restructuring charges. This compares to fourth quarter 2010 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.56, net of $2.8m in pre-tax restructuring charges, or $0.07 per diluted share.

Fourth quarter inbound orders of $206.9m and backlog of $246m decreased 10% and 14%, respectively, from the same period last year. Debt, net of cash, was $131.1m at quarter end.

Frigoglass

Frigoglass’ consolidated net sales increased by 21.4% for the full year to €555.2m. This result follows strong 31.9% net sales growth delivered in 2010. In the fourth quarter, consolidated net sales were up 5.5% year-on-year to €116.6m, also cycling double-digit growth in the prior year quarter.

Fourth quarter and full year results were positively impacted by the contribution of the UAE glass container operations of Frigoglass Jebel Ali. Growth was driven by improved performances in the Cool and Glass Operations. Cool Operations’ sales increased by 20.4% in the full year to €451.7m. Glass Operations’ sales increased by 26.3% for the full year to €103.5m, reflecting a high single-digit organic growth and the positive effect from the seven months consolidation of Frigoglass Jebel Ali.

Moreover, Consolidated Operating Profit (EBIT) increased by 7.9% for the full year to €53.2m. This equates to an operating margin of 9.6% which compares to 10.8% in the prior year. The margin decline reflects the impact of higher raw material costs, the negative operating leverage in India due to the in-market cooler upgrade programme during the first six months of the year, the dilutive effect stemming from the integration phase of Frigoglass Jebel Ali and the increased production costs as a result of the stronger than anticipated demand in Europe in the first half of the year.

Excluding the above mentioned items that impacted profitability, the benefits of volume leverage and a continuing focus on operating cost reduction would have delivered a higher EBIT margin in 2011, compared to the prior year. Net profit declined by 2.4% for the full year to €20.1m, compared to €20.5m in the prior year.

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