Cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter rose 21.2% to a first quarter record of $28.4 million, compared to $23.4 million in the prior year's comparable period. Total debt at March 31, 2011, was $343.9 million, a reduction of $5.9 million in the quarter and $71.3 million in the last 12 months.
"All of our businesses performed very well this quarter, led by the Color Group, which reported all-time quarterly highs for both revenue and operating profit," said Kenneth P. Manning, chairman and CEO of Sensient Technologies. "We remain very optimistic about the company's future and see solid opportunities for growth."
The Color Group reported all-time quarterly record revenue of $125.7 million, an increase of 16.4% over last year's first quarter revenue of $108 million. Operating income for the quarter increased 23.4% to an all-time quarterly record of $22.3 million, compared to $18.1 million in the first quarter of 2010.
The Flavors & Fragrances Group reported revenue of $206.7 million, a record for the first quarter and an increase of 8.4% compared to first quarter 2010 revenue of $190.7 million. Group operating profit increased 6.5% to $29.0 million in the quarter, compared to $27.2 million in the first quarter of 2010.
Corporate & Other, which includes the company's operations in Asia Pacific and China, reported revenue of $31.5 million for the first quarter, an increase of 29.8% compared to the prior year's revenue of $24.3 million. The revenue gains were particularly strong in China, Thailand and Singapore.