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Financial Slowdown at Helen of Troy

January 12, 2009

Sales are lower in 3Q, nine-month report

Household and personal care marketer Helen of Troy Limited posted its sales and net earnings for the third quarter ended November 30, 2008.

Third quarter sales dropped 11.8% to $185.6 million, as compared to the same period of the prior year. Net earnings slipped 5% to $15 million.

The decline in sales reflects the impact of the deteriorating global economic conditions on the retail consumer, a compressed and highly promotional holiday shopping season in the U.S., says the company, and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, which results in comparatively less reported U.S. dollar sales.

The company also reported that sales for the nine months ended Nov. 30, 2008 declined 4.8% to $484.2 million.

Net sales in the personal care segment for the third quarter decreased 13.9% to $140.3 million from the same period last year. Personal care net sales for the nine-month period ended Nov. 30, 2008 decreased 9% to $353.2 million.

Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, chief executive officer and president of the company, stated, "We believe that recent credit market instability, extraordinary stock market volatility, increases in unemployment rates and the uncertainty regarding the impact and extent of U.S. government intervention on behalf of the financial services and automotive sectors has fueled consumer uncertainty…  along with the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, all have adversely affected sales in our consumer markets for both the quarter and year-to-date.”
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