BEAUTY CARE

Alberto Culver reports record sales for Q4 2008

BY Antoinette Alexander

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Alberto Culver, whose brands include TRESemme, Alberto V05, Nexxus and St. Ives, reported record sales and pre-tax earnings from continuing operations for its fourth quarter and fiscal year.

“We are very pleased to have completed another year of record sales and pre-tax earnings growth for Alberto Culver and our shareholders. Despite soft hair care category trends in key markets like the United States and the U.K., we were able to generate high single-digit organic revenue growth in both the quarter and the year,” president and chief executive officer V. James Marino said. “In the fourth quarter, we also successfully completed the divestiture of Cederroth International and, on Oct. 1, acquired Noxzema, adding an iconic, well-known skin care brand to our portfolio.”

As a result of the Cederroth International divestiture, continuing operations exclude the results for Cederroth.

In the fourth quarter, net sales increased 7.3 percent to $386 million from $359.7 million in the year-ago period.

Pre-tax income from continuing operations increased 20.2 percent to $45.4 million from $37.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Excluding restructuring of $1.6 million in the current quarter and $1.1 million in the prior year quarter, pre-tax earnings from continuing operations increased 21 percent to $47 million compared with $38.9 million in the year-ago period.

Fiscal fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations was $20.2 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with $29.4 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

For the fiscal year, net sales increased 9.7 percent to $1.44 billion from $1.32 billion.

Pre-tax income from continuing operations, which includes restructuring and discrete items of $7.3 million in the current year and $33.1 million in the prior year, increased to $170.8 million from $100.8 million in the prior year. Excluding restructuring and discrete items, pre-tax earnings from continuing operations increased 33 percent to $178.1 million compared with $133.9 million in the year-ago period.

Earnings from continuing operations were $106 million compared with $72.6 million in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased to $1.05 from 74 cents in the year-ago period.

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Boots to feature line by celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON U.K. beauty retailer Boots has announced that it will be stocking on its Web site the makeup brand from celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.

Boots.com will be stocking myface.cosmetics exclusively on its Web site.

Looking to end confusion in the makeup aisles, the products will be merchandised according to skin tone.

The collection consists of ten lines and each line has shades that are recommended for each of the skin types.

“The most common question people ask me is, ‘What color lip gloss, blush, etc., would you use on my face?’ The right colors dramatically enhance your overall appearance and the wrong ones can really detract,” Tilbury said.

Added Celeste Sinclair, beauty buyer for Boots.com, “We are so excited to have myface cosmetics as an exclusive brand on our site. [Tilbury] has earned iconic status in the fashion and beauty world and we know that our customers who are self-confessed ‘beauty addicts’ are absolutely going to love this new brand with such inspirational expertise behind it.”

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Always announces innovation in feminine care with Always Infinity launch

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has announced the introduction of Always Infinity, a launch the personal care company has coined as the biggest innovation to hit the feminine care category in years.

What makes the pad unique, according to P&G, is Infinicel, a material that absorbs 10 times its weight while remaining light.

Always Infinity capitalizes on the company’s years of consumer and technical research assessing how products perform. Research indicates that traditional pads often fail due to poor body fit. Always Infinity’s design, including its tapered core, microdots and form-fitting channels, helps the pad achieve critical three-dimensional body fit.

Infinicel has an integrated two-layer structure that removes fluid from the top of the pad and transports it into the bottom layer, where it is distributed and stored. This allows the pad to continue absorbing fluid away from the source for a lighter mark on the pad surface.

According to P&G, the feminine care market has not seen such an advancement since the early introduction of ultrathin pads in the 1990s.

More than 60 patents were generated in the development of the material, the finished product and the production.

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