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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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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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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