BEAUTY CARE

Revlon announces 4Q profit

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Revlon announced on Thursday that for 2008 it recorded net income of $57.9 million as it reduced debt by $110 million.

“During the year, net sales growth in Revlon brand color cosmetics, which was driven by strong new product introductions and a more focused allocation of advertising and promotional expenditures, along with continued rigorous cost control, resulted in significantly improved financial performance,” stated David Kennedy, president and CEO. “Specifically, and as we forecasted, the company improved operating margins, profitability and generated positive free cash flow and net income. In addition, during 2008, we reduced debt by $110 million, improving our capital structure.” 

Net income for 2008 totaled $57.9 million, or $1.13 per share, compared with a net loss of $16.1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Net income in 2008 includes discontinued operations of $44.8 million, or 87 cents per share, of which $45.2 million, or 88 cents per share, relates to the gain on sale of discontinued operations. 

Sales for the year totaled $1.35 billion compared with $1.37 billion last year. Higher net sales of color cosmetics were offset by lower net sales of beauty care and unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations, the company stated. Excluding foreign currency fluctuations, net sales of Revlon brand color cosmetics rose 9% driven largely by new product introductions. 

For the fourth quarter, net sales were $334.2 million, a decrease of 10.5% compared with $373.3 million in the year-ago period. Foreign currency fluctuations negatively impacted net sales by $23.3 million. 

Net income during the fourth quarter totaled $11.3 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with net income of $40.8 million, or 80 cents per share. Income from continuing operations during the quarter was $11.2 million compared with $40 million last year. 

“While we expect economic conditions and the retail sales environment to remain uncertain around the world, we believe we are better positioned than in many years to maximize our business results in light of these conditions,” noted Kennedy. “Specifically, we have strong global brands, a highly capable organization, a sustainable, reduced cost structure and an improved capital structure.” 

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MAC, Hello Kitty come together to benefit the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK MAC Cosmetics has launched a collection based on the pop-culture character Hello Kitty with an auction to benefit the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

The creations of internationally renowned designers, who were invited by MAC to create one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the Hello Kitty collection, are being auctioned on eBay with all proceeds going to the museum’s Acquisition Fund. The Acquisition Fund allows the museum to acquire garments for its permanent collection from up-and-coming design talent who cannot afford to donate garments to the museum. Two MAC Hello Kitty designs by Katy England, a dress and a catsuit, have also been donated to the museum’s permanent collection.

“Since the inception of the brand, MAC’s roots have always been in fashion,” stated John Demsey, group president, MAC Cosmetics. “We support both up-and-coming and established designers by providing makeup artistry for their runway shows or creating limited edition designer color collections. It was a natural fit to fuse two iconic brands with fashion, and give both MAC addicts and Hello Kitty-obsessed fans something that will keep them talking for a long time.”

International bidding for the designs began on eBay Feb. 9 and will remain live for 10 days. To view and bid on the designs, visit www.ebay.com/machellokitty. The MAC Hello Kitty garments can also be viewed on the MAC Cosmetics Facebook page.

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Murad tops ’08 skin-care sales charts at Sephora, Ulta

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Murad Inc., which was founded in 1989 by Howard Murad M.D., has announced that it is once again the top-selling clinical skin-care brand at Sephora and Ulta for the third year running, based on 2008 sales data reported by these retailers.

“It is tremendously gratifying to learn that we have once again topped the skin-care sales charts at our retail partners Sephora and Ulta,” stated Richard Murad, COO. “We enjoyed great success at retail in 2008. Not only did we maintain our No. 1 position at Ulta, Sephora and Sephora inside J.C. Penny, we further extended the margin by which we lead our competition. With a record-breaking sales year overall in 2008, we look forward to further building upon that success and extending it into other venues in 2009.”

Sephora has more than 750 stores in 21 countries, while Ulta operates 211 stores within 26 U.S. states.

The Murad brand is known for its topical and internal skin-care lines. It offers 88 consumer products and 45 professional products throughout 45 countries.

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