BEAUTY CARE

Revlon’s 2007 performance best in years

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Increased sales, restructuring efforts and cost control helped improve financial performance in 2007, according to Revlon president and chief executive officer David Kennedy.

“We are executing our strategy and our financial results in 2007 were our best in many years. We generated $224.5 million in adjusted EBITDA and our negative free cash flow was $13.8 million,” stated Kennedy.

For full year 2007, sales rose 5.2 percent to $1.4 billion compared with $1.3 billion in the year-ago period. Net sales for the full year 2006 were reduced by $19.7 million from Vital Radiance, the discontinued cosmetics line geared toward women aged 50 and older.

In the United States, sales for the year rose 5.1 percent to $804.2 million, compared with sales of $764.9 million in the year-ago period. Net sales in the United States for full year 2006 were reduced by $20.2 million from Vital Radiance.

Net loss for the year narrowed to $16.1 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $251.3 million, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

For the fourth quarter, the company swung to a profit. Net income totaled $40.8 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $5.5 million, or 1 cent per share, in the year-ago period. The current fourth quarter included restructuring expenses of $0.4 million. Last year’s quarter was unfavorably impacted by $20.8 million in restructuring and Vital Radiance-related expenses.

For 2008, the company is planning to introduce a new line up of products for Revlon and Almay color cosmetics.

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Bare Escentuals posts solid Q4 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO Bare Escentuals, a maker of mineral make up, posted solid fourth quarter results and expects to continue its momentum in 2008 by expanding its product offering and access to products both domestically and abroad.

“Bare Escentuals produced a solid quarter in an exceptionally difficult retail environment, demonstrating the strength of its brand and the loyalty of its customer base,” stated SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Chappell in a research note.

Net income for the quarter totaled to $27 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, compared with $16.3 million, or 18 cents per share in the year-ago period. The current quarter’s earnings per share exceeded analyst expectations by one penny and were two cents above the Street mean.

Sales for the quarter were $144.6 million, up about 31 percent from $110.5 million in the year-ago period.

For fiscal 2008, the company reaffirmed its guidance of sales growth of between 20 percent and 25 percent and diluted earnings per share of between $1.13 and $1.18.

“We note that the company did, however, raise its expected door count from 750 to 780 by the end of 2008 as several initiatives are running ahead of schedule. We are maintaining our 2008 estimate of $1.19 as we believe the guidance is overly conservative. Additionally, we are maintaining our 2009 estimate of $1.48,” added Chappell.

Among the new initiatives: The beauty company will be testing in 10 department stores in the U.K. with four different retailers. Testing is expected to begin in the spring. Chappell believes that similar testing will be the norm for the company going forward as it looks to expand its presence in markets such as Japan, Germany and France.

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P&G holds sneak peek at Cate Blanchett’s Essentials Collection

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Procter & Gamble’s upscale skin care line SK-II recently celebrated here Cate Blanchett’s global ambassadorship and the brand’s new 2008 campaign.

At a luncheon recently held at the Sunset Towers in Hollywood, attendees received a sneak peak of SK-II’s new launch for spring, Cate’s Essentials Collection, which includes three of the products through which Blanchett first discovered the brand. The collection includes Facial Treatment Essence, the cornerstone of the brand, Facial Treatment Repair C and Facial Treatment Masks.

To promote the brand, photographer Michael Thompson created black and white portrait of the actress. The ads will run in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom and Spain beginning in March.

The collection retails for $250 and will launch in March exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue with extended roll out beginning in April.

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