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March 11, 2010

Q2 Sales Up 6% at P&G

The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) delivered net sales growth of 6% to $21 billion for the October-December 2009 quarter.

“We are pleased with the top- and bottom-line underlying results for the quarter,” said chairman, president and chief executive officer Bob McDonald. “Our investments in innovation, portfolio expansion, marketing support and consumer value are working. We continue to drive simplification and leverage our scale to create cost advantages and accelerate growth. While economic uncertainty remains, we’re confident these strategies will enable P&G to serve more consumers in more parts of the world, more completely and deliver profitable market share growth.”

Beauty net sales increased 7% in the second fiscal quarter to $5.2 billion. Fabric care and home care net sales grew 9% to $6.3 billion.

Looking ahead, P&G executives said they expect net sales growth in the 3-6% range for fiscal year 2010.

Colgate Posts StrongQ4 and 2009

Colgate-Palmolive Company reported record net income of $631 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, a gain of 20%. For the year, worldwide sales were flat at $15.3 billion, reflecting 0.5% unit volume growth, 6.0% higher pricing and 6.5% negative foreign exchange. Organic sales grew 6.5%. Net income for the year rose 11% to $2.3 billion.

“We are delighted to have finished the year so strongly with fourth quarter operating profit, net income and earnings per share all increasing double-digit and organic sales growing a healthy 6.5%, driven by positive volume and higher pricing,” said Ian Cook, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are particularly pleased that our renewed focus on unit volume growth is indeed working with global unit volume increasing sequentially in each of the last two quarters.”

Further, Cook said the firm was “delighted that Colgate’s global market shares in toothpaste and manual toothbrushes both finished the year at record highs.” Colgate said its share of the global toothpaste market strengthened to 45.1% for the year, led by share gains in Mexico, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Russia and Venezuela.

“We are excited to be entering 2010 with a full pipeline of new products across categories,” Cook said. “We expect the excellent gross profit margin to continue which should allow for higher advertising spending behind new and existing Colgate products.”

Looking Goodfor Estée Lauder in Q2

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. reported financial results for the fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009 that were sharply higher than the prior-year period and the company’s original expectations. For the second quarter, net sales jumped 11% to $2.26 billion.

Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer, said, “The strong results we posted this quarter reflect the vitality of our brands, increased locally relevant innovation and the value consumers find in our product offerings. Our strong top-line growth indicates consumers have responded positively. I am very pleased with our performance in our travel retail business, the Asia region and a good holiday season, particularly in the U.S. and the UK, where we had the right mix of gift sets and basic products, supported by the integral personal service from beauty advisors. Many aspects of our business this quarter came together, as strong global sales growth, cost of sales reductions, restructuring savings and efficient cost management translated into significant operating margin improvement.”

According to Freda, while certain businesses have shown signs of improvement, and the economic challenges and some external uncertainties have abated, “we remain mindful that they have not completely disappeared. We continue to examine our business to more closely align our cost structure with expected sales growth and plan to make targeted incremental investments throughout the balance of the fiscal year to support and grow our brands. Our strategic direction and long-term goals are supported by our entire organization, and step-by-step we have begun executing on each element of the strategy. The solid results for the first half and our confidence in our business for the balance of the fiscal year gives us the ability to again raise our full-year sales and earnings per share estimates.”

In skin care, the Estée Lauder brand had continued strong sales from the recent launch of Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, as well as the Re-Nutriv line of products. Higher sales were also generated from Clinique’s new Youth Surge line of moisturizing products, Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20, as well as from existing products in its 3-Step Skin Care System. Various successful products from La Mer also contributed incremental sales. These sales gains were partially offset by lower sales from other existing products.

The majority of the sales increase came from the makeup artist brands, which collectively generated solid double-digit global growth during the quarter, driven primarily by their international businesses. On a reported basis, net sales also increased in the heritage brands, with solid domestic and international performance. The higher makeup sales also reflected increases across a broad range of products, such as, the recent launches of Even Better Makeup SPF 15 and Superbalanced Powder Makeup SPF 15 from Clinique, as well as Double Wear Foundation and Nutritious Vita-Mineral Makeup by Estée Lauder.

Fragrance sales declined, primarily in the Americas region. The decrease was largely due to lower sales of designer fragrances, attributable to DKNY Delicious Night, Hilfiger Men from Tommy Hilfiger and certain Sean John fragrances. Also contributing to the decrease were lower sales of certain Estée Lauder fragrances, some of which were up against their launches in the prior year. Higher sales from DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom and Aromatics Elixir by Clinique partially offset the declines.

Hair care operating results decreased more than 100%, primarily reflecting goodwill and other intangible asset impairments related to the Ojon brand, partially offset by net sales growth outside the U.S., the closing of certain underperforming retail stores and savings generated from cost containment initiatives.

Q2 Sales Rise at Elizabeth Arden

For its second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009, Elizabeth Arden reported net sales of $393.3 million.

E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden, Inc., commented, “Our results for the second quarter reflect an improved balance between shipments and retail sales at certain of our North American mass retail customers, continued strong sales performance in our Asia-Pacific business, which increased by 19% this past quarter, and momentum in our travel retail business.

He continued, “Although we saw revenues accelerate during the second quarter, our retailers are still managing inventories conservatively and, as such, we are still using caution regarding our second half revenue projections.”

For the six months ended Dec. 31, 2009, the company reported net sales of $658.5 million, an increase of 0.7% as compared to the prior year period.

Elizabeth Arden is raising its guidance for net sales for fiscal 2010. It now predicts net sales to increase by 2.5-3.5%.For the third quarter of fiscal 2010, the company expects net sales of $210 million to $217 million.

Modest Growth at Chattem

Chattem, Inc. announced results for the year and fiscal fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, 2009. Total revenues for fiscal 2009 rose 1.9% to $463.3 million. Net income for the fiscal year fell 4% to $63.2 million.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 climbed 4.5% to $110.2 million, said the company, which has recently been acquired by French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis in a $1.9 billion deal.

Helen of Troy Posts Gain in Third

Helen of Troy Limited, a marketer of brand-name personal care and household consumer products, reported third quarter net sales for the quarter ended Nov. 30 rose 2% to $189.3 million. For the nine months, sales rose 2.3% to $484.1 million.

Third quarter net earnings surged 66.7% to $24.7 million. Net earnings for the nine months soared 79% to $55.1 million.

“We are very pleased with our substantially increased net operating results for the third quarter and nine months ended Nov. 30, 2009, which we achieved in a very difficult retail sales environment,” said Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, chief executive officer and president.

According to Rubin, the company continues to review and adjust its business activities to address a slowly improving economic environment, while managing liquidity and continuing to control expenses.

Sales and Earnings Slip at Beiersdorf

Beiersdorf AG’s net profits dropped 33% $526.8 million last year, according to preliminary figures from the Hamburg-based company. Sales fell too, dropping 3.7% to $7.99 billion.

Sales within Beiersdorf’s consumer unit, which includes brands such as Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie, fell 2.2% to $7 billion. The division’s business in China and Latin America generated double-digit sales gains, while Germany, Beiersdorf’s main market, had“a very successful year.”

Eastern Europe and the U.S. posted an increase in revenues, while Western European sales dipped, according to the firm.

Ulta Posts Growthin Holiday Sales

It was a good holiday season for Ulta, the cosmetic retailer. For the seven-week period between Nov. 15, 2009 and Jan. 2, 2010, total net sales rose 18.2% to $262.2 million.

“The combination of dynamic marketing, compelling offerings and enticing value drove an 8.8% increase in customer traffic which led to a better-than-expected performance for the holiday season,” said Lyn Kirby, Ulta’s president and chief executive officer.

“The period also benefited from a less promotional gift-giving environment across retail versus last year, especially in apparel. As a result, we improved our merchandise margin and leveraged our marketing spend as a percentage of net sales, as compared to last year.

“Based on our holiday results, we have raised our fourth quarter expectations for sales and earnings.”

Driven by favorable holiday sales, the company is increasing its fourth quarter fiscal 2009 outlook and expects net sales in the range of $388-$392 million.

Regis Posts Q2 Revenues of $575 Million

Regis Corporation reported consolidated revenues decreased 2% to $575 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2010.

“In December 2008, we began to see a significant lengthening in consumers’ salon visitation patterns due to the economic recession,” commented Paul D. Finkelstein, chairman and chief executive officer.

“As a result, we thought customer visitations could begin to anniversary and stabilize this December. Our same-store sales results improved throughout December, however not quite to the level we had planned, especially in our higher price point Regis Salon concepts,” Finkelstein added.