HEALTH

Matrixx reports growth for Q2; strength in cold remedies market

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Wednesday reported an 18 percent increase of revenue to $33.6 million for its second quarter ending Sept. 30.

“We are pleased to report increased sales and income for the second quarter of fiscal 2009,” stated Bill Hemelt, acting president and chief operating officer for Matrixx. “Our growth has historically been from Zicam brand growth and the introduction of new and enhanced Zicam products,” he said, pointing to the company’s introduction of five new SKUs that are expected to help fuel growth in the coming cough/cold season.

The five new Zicam products include Cold Remedy RapidMelts + Vitamin C and Echinacea, Allergy Swabs, Cold Sore Swabs and Z-ssentials in orange and lemon-lime flavors.

Matrixx also achieved a new milestone and expanded across the U.S. border by introducing four Zicam products to the Canadian market. “We anticipate introducing several additional Zicam products—Congestion Relief, Sinus Relief, and Multi-Symptom—in Canada during the current quarter ending December 31,” Hemelt said.

“We are now focused on executing our marketing campaign for the upcoming cold season,” Hemelt said. “The Rhino campaign will be expanded to include television advertising, off-shelf display support, lifestyle placement at resorts and on airlines, as well as a ‘Save the Rhino not the Rhinovirus’ promotion with noted zoologist, Jack Hanna. We expect the marketing campaign will increase awareness and consumption of Zicam products by consumers who can’t afford to be sick,” he said.

Matrixx is expected to be less impacted by the confusion surrounding pediatric cough/cold formulations this year—the company does not field any products marketed toward children, either across its allopathic cough-cold symptom relieving remedies or its homeopathic zinc gluconate offerings.

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Dossia, Google team with Continua in growing Web healthcare information resources

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. Continua Health Alliance on Tuesday announced the addition of new members Dossia, a non-profit consortium focused on empowering consumers with personally-controlled health records, and Google, a search and information management companies that has created a healthcare online destination.

Since its launch in 2006, Continua has grown to include 170 of the world’s most successful technology companies, medical and fitness device manufacturers, and healthcare organizations working across three key markets: chronic disease management, independent aging and proactive health and wellness.

“Consumers are ready to adopt healthcare technology, such as personally-controlled health records and home health monitoring devices,” stated Colin Evans, Dossia president and chief executive officer. “Individuals with a more complete picture of their health have the opportunity to make smarter, more informed health decisions, to stay healthier and help lower out-of-control costs. Dossia is looking forward to working with Continua and its members to create open healthcare solutions.”

“Google ardently supports the concepts of interoperability, data portability, and open standards, so it was a natural fit for us to join the Continua Alliance,” added Jerry Lin, product manager for Google Health. “Our work with Continua will help us continue to develop integration with various home monitoring devices to ensure that data can be uploaded from these devices and securely stored in Google Health.”

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MiraLax reports strong sales in third quarter 2008

BY Michael Johnsen

KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough on Tuesday reported strong results across its MiraLax over-the-counter laxative offering, doubling its retail sales of MiraLax to $31 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30. “Within just two years of being on the market, OTC Miralax is already a category leader, running neck and neck with Metamucil,” commented Bob Bertolini, Schering-Plough executive vice president and chief financial officer, during an analyst conference call Tuesday morning. Schering-Plough’s consumer healthcare division reached sales of $278 million for the quarter, which is up 2 percent.

Overall, GAAP net sales for the 2008 third quarter totaled $4.6 billion, up 63 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2007, the company reported.

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