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Financial News



Published February 9, 2009
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Beiersdorf Posts an 8% Rise in Sales for the Year



With a targeted focus on skin and beauty care, Beiersdorf posted strong gains last year, despite a weakening economy. According to preliminary figures for 2008, the company generated an 8% sales rise to $7.9 billion. In particular, the consumer business segment lifted sales in 2008 to $6.8 billion—a 8.6% jump from the previous year.
   
“At 8.6%, sales growth in our core consumer business segment is squarely within the corridor we were aiming for at the beginning of the year. All three core brands—Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie—recorded double-digit global growth. This means that Beiersdorf's skin and beauty care business again clearly outperformed the market and has demonstrated an encouraging ability to withstand the current economic climate,” commented Beiersdorf’s Chief Executive Officer Thomas−B. Quaas.
   
The figures for 2008 are preliminary and have not been audited, according to the company.

Net Sales Jump 8% at Cognis

 

For the first nine months of 2008, global specialty chemicals supplier Cognis posted a net sales growth of 8% to $1.05 billion. Also, the company reported that the sale of Pulcra Chemicals on Oct. 31, 2008 and oleochemicals on Nov. 24, 2008 were successfully completed.
   
For the third quarter, the company reported higher sales across its three core business areas—Care Chemicals, Nutrition & Health and Functional Products. Increases in raw material, energy and transportation costs as well as unfavorable exchange rates were partly compensated by selling price increases and better cost structures.

WD-40 Reports 1Q Sales Rise 5.6%



WD-40 Company’s sales for the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008 increased 5.6% to $83.6 million, while net income leaped 23.4% to $7.7 million. First quarter multi-purpose product sales, which includes the WD-40 and 3-In-One brands, rose 14.9% to $65.9 million. However, the firm’s home care and cleaning product sales, which include all other brands, dropped 18.8% to $17.7 million. First quarter sales in the Americas rose 4.5% to $45.5 million. Meanwhile, European sales rose 6.1% to $30.1 million, while Asia-Pacific sales rose 10.3% to $7.9 million.

Total Revenue Warming Up at Yankee Candle



For the third quarter ended Sept. 27, 2008, Yankee Candle posted a 3% increase to $181.1 million in total revenue. According to the company, the increase in revenue was primarily due to increased sales in its domestic and European wholesale businesses and in new retail stores, offset in part by decreased comparable store retail sales. Comparable store sales in the retail segment, excluding the company’s consumer direct business and Illuminations stores, decreased 8% over the prior year quarter. Total retail comparable sales, including Yankee’s consumer direct business but excluding its Illuminations stores, decreased 7% over the prior year quarter. The company ended the third quarter of 2008 with a net income of $6.7 million—an 11% jump from the same quarter in 2007.

Ulta Reports Holiday Sales



During the seven-week holiday period, total net sales of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. were $221.9 million, a 10% increase over the holiday in 2007. Comparable store sales for the holiday period decreased 5.8%, as compared to a 4.6% increase during the same period in the prior year.
   
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company reduced its sales guidance to the range of $339-$343 million, compared to previous guidance of $354-$368 million.

Chattem Provides Update on Sales Performance



Chattem, Inc. provided an update on its recent retail sales performance as measured by AC Nielsen and point-of-sale data from key mass merchandiser accounts. The company also affirmed its fiscal 2008 and 2009 guidance.
   
“The momentum of our business has continued as expected behind our key brands such as Act, Gold Bond and Icy Hot,” said Zan Guerry, chairman and chief executive officer of Chattem.             According to the company, for the four-week period ended Oct. 4, 2008, retail sales of Chattem products, excluding recalled Icy Hot Heat Therapy and the effectively discontinued Icy Hot Pro-Therapy brands, grew 10% compared to the same period in 2007. This represents an acceleration in the rate of growth for retail sales compared to the 13-week period ended Oct. 4, 2008, during which comparable retail sales rose almost 8%.
   
The year-over-year increase in retail sales was led by Act, which took over third place in the mouthwash category ahead of Scope, based on AC Nielsen data for the most recent four and 13 weeks, which grew by 33% and 28% in the four and 13- week periods, respectively, Gold Bond, up 23% and 13%, and Icy Hot, up 11% and 13%. Overall, Chattem’s “Big Six” brands, which also include Cortizone and Selsun, realized growth of 15% and 12% in retail sales for the four and 13-week periods, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2007.
   
“In this difficult economic environment, and at a time in which concerns regarding negative consumer sentiment and spending clearly exist, we are pleased with the performance of our brands,” Mr. Guerry continued. “For fiscal 2009, our exciting lineup of new products is expected to continue our revenue growth, fuel earnings momentum and result in strong cash flow.”

Financial Slowdown at Helen of Troy



Household and personal care marketer Helen of Troy Limited announced sales dropped 11.8% to $185.6 million, in the third quarter ended Nov. 30. 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., and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, according to the company.
   
Helen of Troy’s 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, reported the company.
   
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.”

New Chief Financial Officer Appointed at Coty



Coty Inc. has appointed Sergio Pedreiro as chief financial officer. In this position, he will oversee Coty’s worldwide finance and information management activities.
   
Among his key responsibilities, Mr. Pedreiro will oversee strategic leadership for corporate finance, planning and budgeting, treasury, tax and fiscal management, business development and acquisitions integration, and information technologies. As a member of Coty’s executive committee, he will report to chief executive officer Bernd Beetz.
   
“A leading financial strategist, Sergio Pedreiro will play a key role in expanding Coty in the coming years,” said Mr. Beetz in a statement. “Under his leadership, I am confident that we can and will strengthen our financial organization and processes to grow our success. Despite challenging economies around the world, we will strive to reinforce our leadership and to gain market share.”
   
Mr. Pedreiro brings more than 20 years of comprehensive and global financial expertise to Coty. Prior to Coty, he served for seven years as the chief financial officer of America Latina Logistica (ALL), Latin America’s largest independent logistics company with operations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Prior to working at ALL, Mr. Pedreiro was an investment officer with GP Investment, the leading private equity firm in Brazil.

Second Quarter Decline at Regis



Regis Corp., which operates beauty salons and hair restoration centers and provides cosmetology education, reported a 5.4% decline in same store sales for the second quarter versus a 0.8% slip in the same period a year ago, missing the firm’s own projection. The company had projected same-store sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 would come in between a decline of 1% and an increase of 1%.
   
Total revenues also declined, dropping 4% to $655.1 million from $682.2 million in the second quarter of 2007. Analysts expected sales of $694.9 million, according to Yahoo Finance. Deconsolidation of Regis’ European franchise salon operations reduced revenue in the quarter by approximately $17 million, the company stated, adding that excluding the impact of the European deconsolidation, revenues would have decreased 1.6%.
   
Paul D. Finkelstein, company chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Operationally, we will be profitable in the second quarter and for the full fiscal year.” On the plus side, its North American salon business was up slightly to $579.2 million, a 0.5% gain from $576.1 in the year-ago period. International salon sales, however, dropped 43.5% to $41.3 million from $73.1 million a year ago.

Paris and Jessica Lead At Parlux in Financial Report



Blondes do have more fun—at least at Parlux. The fragrance marketer posted its preliminary net sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, and the results are favorable—an estimated 6% increase from the prior year to $47.3 million, said the company.
   
Preliminary net sales for the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2008 jumped 9% to $123 million. According to the company, its Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson rollouts are leading the pack.
   
Domestic department store net sales for the quarter exceeded net sales for the same period of the prior year by approximately 82%, however, international sales didn’t fare as well, decreasing approximately 34% for the quarter.
   
According to Parlux, domestic department store sales during the nine months includes approximately $14.9 million in sales of the  Jessica Simpson fragrance, Fancy, which launched last August, and approximately $7.5 million in sales of the new Paris Hilton fragrance, Fairy Dust, which launched in September 2008.




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