International Flavors & Fragrances Earnings Call Insights: Volume Performance Outlook and Ingredients Migration

International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Volume Performance Outlook

Mark Astrachan – Stifel Nicolaus: I guess a couple of questions. Try to clarify and to get some thoughts around the outlook. One is, just trying to understand the confidence in the second quarter sales improvement are including – how much is pull-forward into the fourth quarter or push-out into the second quarter of this year in terms of just overall puts and takes of what the number was in the first quarter including maybe some comments on what’s going on with new wins or existing business. Then, secondly on a bit of a longer term point of view, EBIT and EPS outlook, what is the full benefit from the facility rationalization that you’ve talked about so far, the three facilities I guess, in particular, the Sweden and Indonesia piece, since we know the Augusta, Georgia benefit from an EBIT standpoint, so what’s the incremental for those to and then, on a clarification, the several actions within ingredients specifically means there is more to come in that specific business?

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Douglas D. Tough – Chairman and CEO: Okay Mark, kind of several questions in there. Let me start to talk to a couple of them. And then I’ll ask frankly each of Hernan, Nicolas to talk to volume and Kevin, the question on rationalization benefits. Certainly on the volume, you’ll know we almost always see a certain degree of lumpiness in the results and I think Nic was pointing out that the 19% performance in Fine Fragrance in the previous quarter was an indication of extremely solid results than offset by weaker results net or so. When they in a moment talk about the volume performance in the outlook for Q2 and beyond I’ll let them address specific wins, specific commercial results and so on. But certainly as it relates to this quarter and in particular we have good line of sight on order book results and on both the results of the wins and then the forward orders and it’s encouraging — picture which is why we elaborated the way we did on the outlook for Q2. I’ll only because it might come up elsewhere, but in the context of Fragrance Ingredients issues we have had a comprehensive review with our Board of Directors. There are several opportunity areas to improve the business, we will be advising the marketplace as and when we are ready to commit to those, but certainly the first what we have done is the announcement on Augusta and you’re correct in assuming there might be more there, but we won’t be talking about that today. And I’ll come back to the volume discussion now in the projections and we’ll start with Hernan as it looks to Flavors in Q2 and beyond.

Hernan Vaisman – Group President, Flavors: Hey, Mike, Hernan Vaisman, speaking. Regarding why we are confident in Q2 is basically we have a visibility in our orders and (sales) because of the high volumes coming probably because we placed some orders partly in the first quarter, but also because we have big wins in some regions that will be launching in that quarter. So, basically that’s why we are really confident. The first I mean the wins that is going to impact and secondly we have some order issues, patent order issues in the first quarter and now it’s correcting in the second quarter…

Nicolas Mirzayantz – Group President, Fragrances: Mark, it’s Nicolas. Pretty similar comments regarding Q2 where we are seeing we have very, very strong pipeline of new wins that already started in Q1. And looking at the way the quarter has started and the order in-house, we believe that we have a good momentum going on. Regarding your questions of pushing and pulling versus a different quarter and customer dynamics, obviously, if you have the Q4 performance in Fine and Beauty of 19% plus 4% in Q1, that’s about 11% growth over the two quarters, and we know that the Christmas season was positive, but probably not strong as expected therefore it’s impacting our intake. But it is fair to say that North America is probably not as strong – starting the year not as strong as we could have expected in terms of consumer trends. But as far as new wins and participation and pipeline of new projects it remains very strong and actually our new wins in Q1 were above historical levels.

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Kevin Berryman – EVP and CFO: Mark, this is Kevin. I’ll follow-up on one quick comment on the volume and then talk about the restructuring question that you had. The only other point to add to what’s already been said is that in Q1 our win rates were actually quite strong, so our growth associated with new business offset by any losses that we might have had was actually near strong levels and not necessarily at historical levels, but very strong. So if there was any weakness in Q1 it was relative to some of the erosion that we saw in our business. So, underlying the growth outlook going forward is the continued momentum in terms of that win performance. So, that’s one comment. Your second question on the ingredients, excuse me – on the restructurings or closures of the additional plants, we already talked to the benefit associated with the Fragrance Ingredients effort. We do have the other two plants. We expect that the savings associated with those plants will – once they are fully instituted, probably will be $4 million plus or thereabout. We’ll start to see some of that this year, because the timing, this will be facing over the second half of the year, however, I would say that it will largely be offset this year because at the same time we will be ramping up our facility, our new facility in Guangzhou, China which is the new Flavors facility. So, that’s probably a net wash, roughly speaking in 2013 in the back half. So, I think we’ll start to see those benefits in 2014 and beyond for Sweden and Indonesia fragrance.

Ingredients Migration

Lauren Lieberman – Barclays Capital: I was hoping you could give a little more color, first on where you stand on the work to migrate ingredients business from ingredients into compounds. Doesn’t look, there is much of that in the current period and just thinking through again, I would think it probably takes more than – you don’t get a perfect match between ingredients – losing ingredients business and getting at the flow through of compounds. So, could you talk a little bit about that?

Nicolas Mirzayantz – Group President, Fragrances: It’s Nicolas. Lauren, you’re right. It will take some time for the migration to occur and the migration from the visibility that we have will occur in Q2. So we will see that migration from one part of our business to the other and it will be progressive. So, we have not seen that benefit yet and it will come later in the year.

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Lauren Lieberman – Barclays Capital: Just following up on all the comments you all just shared on the volumes in answering the first question. Comparisons get a lot more difficult in the back half of this year and so I just want to make sure I’m hearing it clearly that when you talk about the run rate of the business and kind of I think Kevin you said 7% or 8% run rate for the Fragrance Compound business but that you think is indicative of where things stand this quarter a bit of an abbreviation, deceleration but even versus separate comps that should be sustainable?

Kevin Berryman – EVP and CFO: Lauren this Kevin. If you think about the outlook that Doug has provided in terms of the full year at the end of the day we’re thinking that we’re going to be able to deliver against our long-term financial target of 4% to 6% and we’re comfortable with that. So, by definition that translates into us having to have incremental performance in the back three quarters of the year relative to our start at 3%. So I think that remember that our 4% to 6% has always been including the exit of low marign business. So, we said we would hit our long term targets even with those exit the impacts of the exits so the fact that we’re at 3% in Q1 BY default indicates that we’re going to have to see some improvements in the back three quarters.

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Lauren Lieberman – Barclays Capital: My final thing sorry it was just the partnership with Amyris because I believe for (managed) also put out a press release earlier this year about having a similar relationship or at least the way the press release read it was kind of similar. So, if you are able to kind of offer any color around what’s different with what you’re doing versus your understanding of what competition is doing what would be exclusive what wouldn’t be and so on? Thanks.

Nicolas Mirzayantz – Group President, Fragrances: Lauren, its Nicolas again. In this type of collaboration and partnership it’s really linked to your own portfolio. And so everybody is really developing different agreement regarding their – they are using portfolio, their strengths, unique complementary expertise from both the company we are partnering with and with ours. So they are very, very specific to what we do, what we stand for in our existing portfolio which is different, as you know, in Ingredients we don’t compete with our key competitors on the same portfolio. We are not competing against them. Therefore it’s very, very dedicated to what we do and probably (another one) of their program, but what they are doing they are slightly dedicated to their portfolio.

A Closer Look: International Flavors & Fragrances Earnings Cheat Sheet>>