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April 6, 2011

Sales Up 12%, Net Income Rises 17% at L’Oréal

L’Oréal’s sales for 2010 rose 12% to $26.6 billion. Net income rose 17.2% to $3.1 billion. Jean-Paul Agon, chief executive officer of L’Oréal, commented, “In the context of an upturn in the cosmetics market, L’Oréal achieved strong sales growth. The group advanced in all zones, all channels and all business segments; more dynamic than the market, it bolstered its position as the world No. 1 in beauty.”

It was a year of conquests for the group, according to Agon, with several brands achieving spectacular breakthroughs: L’Oréal Professionnel with its hair colorant Inoa, Maybelline in mass market makeup, Yves Saint Laurent which is experiencing a renaissance, and La Roche-Posay, which is continuing its expansion.

The group is growing in Western Europe, clearly improving its positions in North America, and continuing its conquest of the new strategic markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America. In 2010, L’Oréal China became the group’s No. 3 cosmetics subsidiary.

Sales Rise at Reckitt Benckiser
Reckitt Benckiser PLC reported a 9% increase in sales to $13 billion. Net income rose 11% to $2.4 billion. However, the company warned a slowing global economy and escalating cost pressures could restrain its earnings growth this year.

Still, Reckitt Benckiser predicts sales will increase 12% and net income will improve 10% this year.

Tupperware Reports Q4, Year-End Sales
Tupperware Brands Corporation, the owner of BeautiControl, said its fourth quarter sales increased 5% to $109.3 million in North America. In the large Fuller Mexico business, improvement in recruiting led to a year-end sales force size 4% above last year, and local currency sales were up 4% compared with last year. Tupperware’s “Beauty Other” business segment recorded a sales gain of 16% to $98.6 million, with more than half of the increase from the business in Brazil. Also contributing to the increase were Argentina, the Philippines and Venezuela.

For the full year, group sales grew 6% to $2.3 billion. Sales within the beauty brand segments rose 6%, the company said. Beauty North America’s sales were $406 million and “Beauty Other” recorded sales of $331 million.

Revlon’s Sales Rise 2% in 2010
Revlon reported 2010 sales rose 2% to $1.3 billion. Net income jumped to $327.3 million. The company said higher net sales of Revlon color cosmetics and Revlon ColorSilk hair color were partially offset by lower net sales of Almay color cosmetics and Mitchum antiperspirant deodorant.

“In 2010, we continued to execute our business strategy. We grew the top line, improved our financial performance and strengthened our organizational capability with key management appointments in R&D, marketing and general management,” said Alan T. Ennis, president and chief executive officer for the company.

In the U.S., net sales in 2010 declined 2.5% to $729.1 million, due primarily to lower net sales of Almay color cosmetics, Revlon ColorSilk hair color and Mitchum antiperspirant deodorant, partially offset by higher net sales of Revlon color cosmetics.

In Asia Pacific, net sales rose 11% to $209.9 million. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign currency fluctuations, net sales increased 3.2%. Higher net sales of Revlon color cosmetics, Revlon ColorSilk hair color and other beauty care products in the region were partially offset by lower net sales of Revlon color cosmetics in Australia and Japan.

In Europe, Middle East and Africa, net sales increased 9% to $200.4 million. The increase was primarily due to higher net sales of fragrances throughout the region as well as higher net sales of color cosmetics and other beauty care products in South Africa.

In Latin America, net sales fell 0.9% to $107.9 million. In Canada, net sales rose 11.9% to $74.1 million.

PZ Cussons’ Half-Year Sales Rise 1.3%
PZ Cussons reported that sales for the half-year ended Nov. 30, 2010 rose 1.3% to approximately $598 million.

“The group has delivered a robust performance in the first half despite challenging trading conditions in a number of markets,” said Richard Harvey, chairman, upon release of the figures. “Continued renovation of our brand portfolio has played an important role in ensuring we can continue to trade competitively in the markets in which we operate.”

“Following completion of the group’s major capital projects last year we have pressed ahead with new opportunities, including the acquisition of the St. Tropez brand, whilst still remaining in a net funds position. Our balance sheet remains strong and we have the appetite to pursue further investment opportunities, which fit our strategic aims. Whilst we remain cautious given continued challenging trading conditions and rising raw material prices, our outlook for the full year is broadly in line with expectations,” he continued.

According to the company, profitability in Europe was marginally lower than the same period last year reflecting a strong comparative period which included both high Carex sales in the UK following the swine flu outbreak and high export sales in Poland, higher levels of promotional activity and the full effect of the Greek economic crisis now impacting performance.

In addition, the firm said that the major relaunch of the Cussons Baby range in Indonesia is progressing well.

Sales and Profit Up at Walmart
Walmart’s sales and profits rose in the fourth quarter, but same-store sales fell for the period.

For the three months ended Jan. 31, income rose 4.3% to $5.02 billion. Sales rose 2.5% to $115.60 billion. Comparable-store sales for U.S. stores decreased 1.8%.

Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased with Walmart’s strong earnings performance for both the fourth quarter and the full year across our three operating segments. At the same time, we are disappointed by Walmart U.S. fourth-quarter sales.”

Duke added that Walmart U.S. is implementing a four-point plan designed to deliver better results, although it will take some time to see positive comps.

For the year, sales rose 3.4% to $419 billion. Income from continuing operations rose 6.3% to $15.4 billion.

Ecolab Reports Q4 Sales And European Restructuring
Ecolab Inc. reported record fourth quarter earnings as strong new business efforts globally and strong quarter sales growth in its Asia Pacific and Latin American operations, along with a lower tax rate, provided a lift. In addition, Ecolab announced said it would restructure its European operations.

Ecolab’s reported net sales rose 1% to $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. Net income attributable to shareholders increased 13% to a record $131 million.

For the year, sales rose 3% to nearly $6.1 billion. Net income jumped 27% to $530 million.

Ecolab has undertaken a comprehensive plan to substantially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its Europe business, sharpen its competitiveness and accelerate its growth and profitability. As a part of this effort, Ecolab is developing plans for an accelerated restructure of its European operations in order to more quickly realize the benefits. As part of the restructuring, approximately 900 positions will be eliminated.

The restructuring and other cost savings actions are expected to result in more than $120 million ($100 million after tax) in annualized cost savings when fully realized, with approximately $4 million-$6 million ($3-$5 million after tax) realized in 2011.

Fourth quarter 2010 sales for Ecolab’s U.S. Cleaning & Sanitizing operations rose 1% to $681 million. Operating income declined 10% to $113 million. U.S. Other Services fourth quarter sales increased 2% to $111 million. Operating income grew 17% to $18 million. Sales for Ecolab’s International operations grew 3% to $791 million in the fourth quarter.