Supplier BIC Graphic (UPIC: BIC) registered an increase in net sales of 2.3 percent on a constant currency basis in the first half of 2016. In parent company BIC Group’s release of financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2016, it notes that BIC Graphic turned in good performances in key countries such as France and Germany, and that in North America its “Good Value” line and new products continued to perform well, driving growth in both hard goods and writing instruments.

BIC Graphic net sales in second quarter 2016 were down 2.7 percent but on a constant currency basis—used by companies with major foreign operations to account for the effects of exchange rate fluctuations—the division registered a 0.3-percent uptick. Normalized income from operations (IFO) for the first half of 2016 was negative 5.4 percent, compared to negative 4.7 percent in 2015. However, excluding a special employee bonus, its normalized IFO margin would have been negative 3.2 percent, due to lower operating expenses compared to the first half of 2015. In the second quarter, lower costs of production and operating expenses led to a positive 2.5-percent IFO.

For the BIC Group, the first half of 2016 saw net sales of €1.133 billion ($1.267 billion), down 0.1 percent as reported and up 5.4 percent on a constant currency basis. Second quarter sales were €616 million ($689 million), down 1.1 percent as reported but up 4.2 percent on a constant currency basis.

“H1 2016 results are in line with our full year 2016 outlook, with solid net sales growth on a comparative basis across all consumer categories and regions, notably in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says Bruno Bich, chairman and CEO. “In H2 2016, we will continue to invest in R&D and brand support in order to fuel medium- and long-term growth, and we remain confident of achieving our full year objectives.”

For more information on the company’s financial performance, click here.