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ACCO reports benefits of diversification

ACCO Brands EMEA reported sales of $146.5 million, down 5.2% due to adverse foreign currency which reduced sales by 8.7%.  Comparable sales increased 3.5% driven by broad-based growth in most product categories.  ACCO Brands North America registered sales of $160.4 million, a decrease of 3.1% from the prior-year period and excluding currency decreased 2.5%. The sales decline was primarily due to the timing of orders and some lost placements.  

"Our first quarter results demonstrate our continued effective response to industry changes, aided by our strong brands, good execution and more diversified global business," said Boris Elisman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACCO Brands.  "While the first quarter is seasonally our smallest quarter, I am very pleased with our improved operating results driven by price recovery and cost reductions.

"We continue to progress our strategy of growing our global portfolio of consumer brands, while increasing our presence in faster growing geographies, channels and product categories and diversifying our customer base, as demonstrated by the continued growth in EMEA following the Esselte acquisition," added Elisman.

"We also continue to improve our cost structure through synergies and productivity savings to drive long-term profit growth and continued strong free cash flow generation. We continue to expect to realize $10 million of acquisition synergy savings in 2019, in addition to $30-$35 million in cost savings," he added.