For the third quarter, net sales rose 17% to $67.1 million. At comparable foreign currency exchaange rates, net sales increased 11% for the period. Gross margin grew 50%, as compared to 48% in the year-ago period. Income from operations decreased 5% to $8 million, and net income declined 14% to $4 million compared to the previous year's period.
Sales for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2004 were $172.2 million, a 26% increase over the comparable year-ago period. At comparable foreign currency exchange rates, net sales increased 21%. Net income through Sept. 30, 2004 was $12.2 million, compared to $10.1 million in the same period one year earlier.
Inter Parfums executives said the sales increase in the third quarter reflects the very successful launch of the Burberry Brit men's line in Europe, North America and Asia. Also contributing to the growth was the introduction of Paul Smith London, initial sales of Lanvin fragrances since July 1, 2004, when Inter Parfums acquired the fragrance license and inventory, and a modest sales contribution by Nickel, the men's skin care line in which Inter Parfums acquired a majority stake in the spring of this year. Prestige product sales, which represented 83% of total sales, rose 26%, while mass market sales decreased 22% for the three-month period ended September 30, 2004, as compared to the corresponding period of the prior year.
Discussing the outlook for the Company, Russell Greenberg, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, "We continue to expect to meet our net sales and net income goals for 2004 of approximately $228 million and $15.8 million or $0.77 per fully diluted share. With respect to 2005, we plan to issue our initial guidance for the year toward the end of this month."