BEAUTY CARE

Inter Parfums reports double-digit loss in Q1

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Inter Parfums, which manufacturers and distributes licensed prestige perfumes, cosmetics and personal care products for specialty retailers, and supplies mass market fragrances, reported a double-digit drop in first-quarter sales and affirmed its 2009 guidance.

“As we previously indicated, year-over-year first quarter sales comparisons were impacted by several factors. The continued strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the euro, had the net effect of depressing 2009 first quarter sales by about 6% as compared to last year,” stated Jean Madar, chairman and CEO of Inter Parfums. “Additionally, last year?s first quarter included our largest ever global launch of our largest licensed brand, Burberry The Beat for women, pushing European-based sales up 46% as compared with the first quarter of 2007. With regard to U.S. operations, the comparable quarter sales decline also factors in an exceptionally strong first quarter in 2008, with sales up 31% from the first quarter of 2007. These factors combined with the impact of the global economic crisis on discretionary consumer spending produced the first quarter sales decline.”

Net sales for the first quarter were about $90.4 million, down 27% from $123.2 million in the year-ago period. As comparable foreign currency exchange rates, net sales were down 21%.

The company is expected to issue its full first quarter results on May 11, after the close of the market.

Assuming the dollar remains at current levels, the company continues to expect 2009 net sales of $390 million, with net income of roughly $21 million, or 70 cents per diluted share.

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Biolage launches Thank You Program

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Hair product brand Biolage is kicking off a year-long initiative to give back to that trusted someone who has helped you look and feel your best throughout all of life’s special occasions –– your stylist.

In line with Hair Stylist Appreciation Day on April 30, Biolage gets the opportunity to say thanks for making it a leader in professional hair care with their Thank You Program, which allows consumers everywhere show appreciation for their favorite stylists by saying so on Biolage’s recently-launched virtual Biolage Thank You Tree.

For each leaf posted on the Biolage Thank You Tree, the brand will donate $1 to The Conservation Fund’s efforts towards a greener, leafier planet (www.ConservationFund.org). This campaign will last through the end of 2010, giving the Biolage community an ongoing opportunity to interact and show their support for each other on the Biolage Web site and give something back to the Earth –– all through a simple click of the mouse.

Additionally, to further give back to salon owners, stylists and their clients, Biolage has implemented a brand-wide upsizing campaign –– beginning May 2010, Biolage will upsize shampoo and conditioners, offering up to 25% more product for the same price on selected therapies. Biolage recognizes the need for change in cost-conscious times and wants brand fans to always have the luxury of natural beauty.

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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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