BEAUTY CARE

P&G’s beauty and grooming sales rise

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI While the big news to come out of Procter & Gamble’s second-quarter results was the spin-off of its coffee business, it should not go unnoticed that such beauty brands as Fusion, Head & Shoulders and Nice ‘N Easy helped drive sales and delivered double-digit volume growth.

Total sales for the quarter rose 9 percent to $21.6 billion from $19.7 billion in the year-ago period. Net earnings totaled $3.3 billion, or 98 cents per diluted share, compared with $2.9 billion, or 84 cents, in the year-ago period.

Operating margin was down slightly versus the year-ago period as a reduction in overhead spending as a percent of sales was more than offset by higher commodity and energy costs.

Beauty net sales rose 10 percent to $5.1 billion, and organic sales rose 5 percent. Skin care volume rose in the high-single digits behind Olay Definity and Regenerist. Hair care volume was up by low-single digits as strong results on Head & Shoulders were partially offset by softness in professional hair care. Net earnings in beauty were up 10 percent to $883 million.

Grooming net sales rose 9 percent to $2.2 billion behind 7 percent volume growth. Blades and razors volume was up by double-digits, led by double-digit developing region growth behind the expansion of Fusion. Net earnings in grooming were up 11 percent for the quarter to $429 million.

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Alberto-Culver posts record Q1 sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Alberto-Culver, whose brands include TRESemme, Alberto VO5, Nexxus and St. Ives, posted record sales and earnings results for the first quarter thanks, in part, to solid growth of its Nexxus and TRESemme brands.

Net sales for the quarter increased 14.1 percent to $400.7 million from $351.1 million in the prior year.

Pre-tax income from continuing operations increased to $43.5 million from a loss of $1.3 million in the year-ago period. Excluding restructuring and other expenses of $4.8 million in the current quarter and $31.4 million in the prior year quarter, pre-tax earnings from continuing operations rose 60.5 percent to $48.3 million versus $30.1 million in the year-ago period.

The company also announced that the board of directors has increased the regularly quarterly cash dividend by 18.2 percent to 6.5 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Feb. 20 to shareholders of record on Feb. 4.

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Boots’ Waters to step down in February

BY Antoinette Alexander

STAMFORD, Conn. Boots Retail International has announced that Martin Waters, the company’s chief executive officer, will resign Feb. 14.

Once his term is complete, Waters is expected to take a new post in the United States, according to Boots. However, details were not disclosed.

A successor has not yet been named, but in the interim Kevan Quantock will continue to lead the Boots team in North America. Quantock has more than 15 years of experience with Boots, playing an integral role in the company’s international development over the last eight years. When introducing Boots to the United States, he was instrumental in establishing commercial and trade relationships with both Target and CVS.

Boots earlier this week announced the launch of its No7 skin care line for men.

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