BEAUTY CARE

Alberto-Culver reports growth in Q2

BY Antoinette Alexander

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Alberto-Culver, whose brands include TRESemme, Alberto V05, Nexxus, St. Ives and Noxzema, posted growth in organic revenue during the second-quarter, as it boosted advertising investments in both TRESemme and Nexxus to support new initiatives and drive brand equity.

Net sales for the second quarter decreased 1.4% to $344.3 million from $349.4 million in the year-ago period. Reported net sales were reduced 10.1% by foreign currency. Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations and the acquisition of Noxzema, organic sales rose 6.3% in the second quarter.

Pre-tax earnings from continuing operations rose 10.4% to $42.6 million from $38.6 million in the year-ago period. Excluding a benefit from restructuring activities of $21,000 in the current quarter and restructuring expense of $2 million in the prior year quarter, pre-tax earnings from continuing operations rose 4.8% to $42.6 million compared with $40.6 million in the prior year quarter.

Net earnings totaled $28.1 million compared with $29 million in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were 28 cents, compared with 26 cents in the year-ago period.

“We continue to grow our market share in hair care and drive solid organic growth in what has been by all accounts a very challenging operating environment. We?re extremely pleased with our strong results through the first half of fiscal year 2009,” stated Alberto-Culver president and CEO V. James Marino. “The categories in which we compete, the channels in which we participate and the strong brands we offer provide us with a platform of relative strength and we believe that we can continue to win.”

Organic growth in the United States and internationally was driven mainly by continued growth in TRESemme and Nexxus, the company noted. In addition, strong performance by Alberto V05, St. Ives and multicultural brands contributed to the international organic sales growth.

Advertising and other marketing investments were higher than the first quarter, but decreased 14.5% to $57.6 million, compared with the prior-year quarter, because of foreign currency fluctuations that accounted for 7.5% of the decrease, lower media rates in many of its markets and a mix shift to increased trade promotion in the United States.

The company also stated that its board of directors has approved the regular 7.5 cents quarterly cash dividend. The dividend will be paid on May 20 to shareholders of record on May 7.

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Nine Naturals to launch hair care line for expecting mothers

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO Nine Naturals has introduced a natural hair care line for expecting mothers that is rolling out this month to parenting boutiques, select grocery stores and specialty retailers.

The line, dubbed Oh Baby!, is free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens and DEA. For beauty, the all-natural products are made with essential plant oils, organic aloe and B5. According to the company, it can create products with nine or fewer ingredients by sourcing premium ingredients.

To help expecting moms fight fatigue, the products have natural aromatic oils.

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Coca-Cola, L’Oreal Paris team up to celebrate African-American women

BY Antoinette Alexander

ATLANTA In celebration of Mother’s Day, Coca-Cola’s Dasani has teamed up with L’Oreal Paris to “refresh” African-American women for the special day through a program that celebrates good work in the community and style and beauty.

As part of the campaign Dasani will be giving hundreds of women complementary spa services at the Townhouse Spa in New York City on April 24. Chilli from the Grammy award-winning R&B group TLC is serving as a spokesperson for the campaign and is hosting the Dasani “Ultimate Style and Beauty Lounge.”

L’Oreal Paris will provide beauty makeovers and SoftSheen-Carson will provide hairstyles and trims for the women.

In addition, Dasani will recognize Girls Inc. and Dress for Success for their support of women through a variety of positive, image-building programs. Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Holdings and Bethann Hardison, founder of Black Girls Coalition, also will be honored for their work in fostering programs for young women.

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