* Cuts targets for APP unit
* Sales, profit lag forecast
(Adds additional details)
PARIS, April 25 French group Bic on
Thursday posted falling first-quarter sales and operating profit
due to slowing demand for pens and ongoing issues in its
promotional products unit.
First-quarter sales fell 3.7 percent to 428.6 million euros
($556.99 million)and lagged the average analysts Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S estimate of 437.7 million euros.
Operating profit fell 16.5 percent to 66.7 million euros,
missing a 78.6 million euro forecast.
Sales in its consumer business fell 2.4 percent, dragged by
a drop in pens, while its advertising and promotional products
(APP) unit, which sells customised calendars, bags and pens,
fell 12 percent.
Bic reiterated that it is aiming for sales growth of 2-to-4
percent in its consumer business and said its full-year margin
would be at the higher end of a 15 and 20 percent range it is
targetting for the medium term.
The company revised down its targets in its APP unit and
said it was expected a low to mid-single digit sales decline
compared with a previous forecast for stable to slightly
APP sales fell 10 percent last year due to customer service
issues, shipment delays and lack of demand in Southern Europe
and the unit's margin was 2.5 times lower than in consumer
($1 = 0.7695 euros)
(Reporting by Alice Cannet; editing by Blaise Robinson and