Fine and specialty chemical maker PCAS reported last week double digit sales growth for the six months ending June, 30, with cosmetics and perfume sales outstripping other sectors. The France-based company posted net sales of €99.3m for the first half of the year, 10.5 per cent growth on the same period in 2006. Operating income rose to €6.2m, from €4.6m, with operating margins increasing 1.1 percentage points to 6.2 per cent. Net profit for the half year was €0.8m compared to €0.5m for the first half of 2006. Perfume-Aroma-Cosmetics was the strongest performing division in the first half of the year. The business unit produces molecules and active substances for the perfume, cosmetics and aroma chemical industries. The pharmaceutical side of the business did not perform so well, growing by only 5.1 per cent, after a number of clients reduced their stock levels. Although PCAS stated that its product portfolio for Perfume-Aroma-Cosmetics was a key to its high growth, it emphasised the importance of further R&D expenditure to secure its position as a leader in this field. With regards to PCAS's forecast for the whole of 2007, the company warned investors that the second half of the year is usually weaker than the first half due to maintenance operations carried out each August. Nonetheless, continued sales growth and lower costs were cited as the aims for the immediate future. Alongside its financial results PCAS announced the restructuring of its debt. The company has taken out a syndicated loan of €36m, to be paid back over six years, and redeemable stock warrants of €19.3m, repayable in 2012.