Total debt at March 31, 2010, was $415.2 million, a reduction of $12.8 million in the quarter and $53.3 million in the last twelve months.
"This quarter's excellent results show solid growth across many of our markets," said Kenneth Manning, chairman and CEO of Sensient Technologies. "We continue to benefit from the investments we have made in the business and I am very optimistic about the company's future."
The Color Group reported record quarterly revenue of $108 million, an increase of 24.0% over last year's first quarter revenue of $87.1 million. Operating income for the quarter increased 31.9% to $18.1 million compared to $13.7 million in the first quarter of 2009. Revenue grew across all product lines.
The Flavors & Fragrances Group reported revenue for the first quarter of 2010 of $190.7 million, an increase of 3.3% compared to first quarter 2009 revenue of $184.5 million.
In addition, the Board of Directors of Sensient Technologies voted to increase the quarterly cash dividend on its common stock from 19 cents per share to 20 cents per share at its meeting. The increase will be effective for the quarterly dividend payable on June 1, 2010, to shareholders of record on May 6, 2010.
"We want our shareholders to benefit from our continued strong performance," said Mr. Manning. "This increase raises our dividend payments to 80 cents per share annually and reflects confidence in the strength of our business. With this increase, our quarterly dividend has risen by more than 33% over the past four years."