Net sales from continuing operations for the first quarter were US$1.65 billion, up approximately 18 percent from $1.39 billion for the same quarter last year. Sales before the impact of the Paxar acquisition and foreign currency translation were down approximately 2 percent from last year.
“Weak retail demand in the US and raw material inflation impacted our sales and profits during the first quarter,” said Dean A. Scarborough, president and CEO. “While we are disappointed in these results, we stepped up our initiatives to navigate this difficult economic environment and position the company for a rebound in the economy. Our disciplined approach includes clamping down on expenses, accelerating productivity initiatives and reducing capital spending as we intensify our focus on increasing cash flow,” he added. “The integration of Paxar into our Retail Information Services Group remains on track and is expected to drive annual cost synergies of roughly $120 million by the end of 2009.”
“Meanwhile, we continue to invest in our long-term growth platforms, including RIS, RFID and our materials businesses in the emerging markets,” Scarborough said. “These investments included the acquisition of Asia-based DM Label Group, a manufacturer of interior labels for apparel, which enhances RIS’ product portfolio and strengthens our presence in Asia. We also added roll materials capacity in emerging markets, including China and India, where our pressure sensitive materials business continues to achieve double-digit growth. We will continue to actively pursue opportunities to strengthen our position in these businesses and markets in the future.”