Driven by successful new product launches, Elizabeth Arden Inc. executives reported a surge in sales and profits for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2004.
Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 rose 26% to $213.9 million. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased 20.5%, a spokesperson said.
This increase was driven by the success of new product launches including skin care products Ceramide Plump Perfect and Overnight Success and the Red Door Revealed fragrance, in-creased market share of prestige fragrances in U.S. mass retail and favorable foreign currency translation.
Additionally, the net sales increase reflects a shift in promotional and innovation activities between the company’s third and fourth fiscal quarters as compared to the prior year, Arden executives said.
Gross margin increased from 40% to 44.2%, reflecting improved leveraging of supply chain and distribution costs and promotional activities.
Income from operations, excluding restructuring charges related to the consolidation of the company’s U.S. facilities, increased to $25.1 million, up from $8.8 million in the comparable period last year.
“This is a tremendous year for the company, despite a slow first half,” said E. Scott Beattie, chariman and chief executive officer, Elizabeth Arden Inc. “Our new product innovation performed extremely well, with the Elizabeth Arden skin care and color lines posting double-digit growth and our Red Door fragrance brand exhibiting sales growth in excess of 25%. We also continued to increase the market share of prestige fragrances in the U.S. mass retail market, and our international business finished strongly.”