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In Brief: Quest International

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Quest International: Fragrance supplier being divested by parent Unilever in sell-off of international specialty chemicals business "as part of the strategic development of its portfolio," Unilever announced Feb. 11. In addition to Quest, Unilever's chemicals segment includes adhesives, resins and starches producer National Starch and Chemical; oleochemicals and nickel catalysts firm Unichema International and inorganic chemical producer Crosfield. The move will "enable Unilever to concentrate resources...in [its] consumer goods operations," the company said. Unilever 1996 net earnings increased 7.8% to $2.5 mil. on sales of $52.2 bil., up 5% (based on an exchange rate of $1=.61[pound]), the company reported. North American sales increased 16.4% to $10.9 bil., due to the Helene Curtis acquisition, which "led to an overall rise in sales and profits." Profit growth was offset, however, by Elizabeth Arden and Calvin Klein product launches...

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