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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ASDS premieres Skin Self Exam Kit on Facebook

BY Michael Johnsen

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. In recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the increasing incidence of skin cancer in the United States, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery on Tuesday created a free Skin Self Exam kit available on the Society’s Facebook site.

“Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is the second most common cancer affecting women aged 20 to 29,” stated Robert Weiss, president of the ASDS. “The 5-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads is 99%; therefore, it’s critical that consumers perform regular self-skin exams. Through Facebook, the ASDS is pleased to provide young women and men who are at highest risk for skin cancer with resources that could potentially save their lives.”

The kit and site were created to educate younger audiences about the potential dangers of skin cancer and the importance of early detection methods.

The ASDS’ SSE kit includes instructions on how to properly monitor and measure suspicious moles and other lesions. The kit, available on the ASDS’ Facebook site, provides consumers with statistics and background information about skin cancer, instructions for completing a thorough self-skin exam, and examples of what to look for when monitoring moles and freckles for the ABCDE’s of melanoma: asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, diameter and evolving (changes to a mole’s size or coloring). To track mole locations and changes to the skin, the ASDS has provided consumers with a 12-month journal, which includes a diagram of the body.

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Halle Berry auctions bracelet to benefit victims of domestic violence

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Actress and beauty icon Halle Berry is auctioning off a hand-carved rose gold cuff bracelet that was designed exclusively for her to wear in the ad campaign for her debut fragrance, Halle by Halle Berry. The net proceeds generated by the auction will be donated to the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program.

“The Jenesse Center is an organization that is very close to my heart,” Berry stated. “Their work makes a tremendous difference in the lives of women and children and I am proud to support such a worthy cause by auctioning off this beautiful bracelet.”

The cuff bracelet was designed by Gara Danielle and was worn by Halle on the set at the making of her fragrance campaign in Oahu, Hawaii. Made from 14K rose gold plate over sterling silver, the adjustable cuff is valued at $4,000. Bidding is taking place at charitybuzz.com.

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