• Beiersdorf AG officials said that the company’s performance in the first half of 2012 was in line with expectations, as organically, group sales rose by 2.6%. Group sales increased by 5.5% on the previous year to approximately $3.76 billion (€3,062 million). Operating result (EBIT) rose by 11.6% to $479 million (€390 million).
The main driver for the improvement in earnings was the company’s positive development in the emerging markets.
“On the whole, we are satisfied with how business developed in the first half of the year,” noted Stefan F. Heidenreich, chairman of the executive board of Beiersdorf AG. “The numbers reflect the first fruits of Beiersdorf’s strategic realignment. They show that we can generate profitable growth even under difficult macroeconomic conditions. We are on the right track with our moves to strengthen our brands and innovative capabilities, as well as expanding our presence and impact on the emerging markets.”
All of the company’s core brands contributed to the sales growth, led by an increase of 4.4% at Nivea, 3.1% at Eucerin, and 2.7% at La Prairie. Business development in the reporting regions was mixed, and was frequently influenced by macroeconomic developments in the individual countries.
A Good Year for Hain Celestial
• The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.’s global net sales rose 22.3% to $350.8 million in the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, 2012.
The company’s growth came from continued sales momentum in the natural and organic sector across various classes of trade including natural, grocery, mass-market retailers, club stores and e-tailers along with contributions from strategic acquisitions. Strong brand contribution came from several food lines like Earth’s Best, Spectrum MaraNatha, Garden of Eatin’ and Linda McCartney as well as Avalon Organics and the recently acquired Europe’s Best, New Covent Garden Soup Co., Johnson’s Juice Co., Farmhouse Fare, Lovetub, Sunripe and Cully & Sully brands.
For fiscal 2012, net sales rose 24.3% to $1.4 billion. All of the brands noted above also contributed to the increase, according to the company.
“We finished fiscal year 2012 with strong results across our key performance measures as consumption in the United States accelerated during the year to the highest levels in the company’s history as consumers continued to seek out our products.With new product innovation, increased sales opportunities in various channels of distribution and global geographies, along with productivity initiatives, our year ended with solid results across all of our segments,” said Irwin D. Simon, founder, president and chief executive officer of Hain Celestial.
Yankee Candle Reports Double-Digit Gains in Q2
• Yankee Holding Corp. and The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. posted financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012.Sales increase 11.9% to $145.3 million. Retail sales also rose 11.9% to $81.8 million, while sales in the company’s wholesale segment increased 6.3% to $40.5 million.
“We are pleased with the strong sales and adjusted EBITDA growth we were able to deliver in the second quarter,” said Harlan Kent, chief executive officer of Yankee Candle.“We continue to see momentum in our businesses as a result of the investments we have been making in talent, systems and brand building, and will look to further leverage these investments as we move forward while continuing to focus on productivity and cash optimization strategies.”
For the six months ended June 30, 2012, retail sales increased 10.1% to $162.8 million, driven primarily by sales in new stores opened after the second quarter of 2011, increased sales in the consumer direct division, increased comparable store sales, and increased sales in the fundraising division.
“As we head into the much larger second half of the year, we are mindful that the macro environment remains very challenging and uncertain,” said Kent. “We expect a cautious consumer, and early indications are that our wholesale customers will be managing their open-to-buy dollars very tightly.Against this backdrop, we will need to remain focused on flawless execution, continue to drive operating efficiencies and productivity, and further leverage the investments we have made in our growth platforms.We believe we are well positioned for the second half, but will be prudent in our planning given the macro economic headwinds.”
IFF Reports Slight Gain in Q2
• Despite difficult times in Europe, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) reported a 1% increase in revenue for the second quarter to $721.3 million. The company noted that excluding the impact of foreign currency, local currency sales increased 4%.
On a like-for-like basis, which excludes the exit of low-margin sales activities in flavors, local currency sales increased 5%. Net income rose more than 16% to $88.6 million.
“We are pleased with our performance this quarter,” said Doug Tough, chairman and chief executive officer. “We delivered solid top-line growth and even stronger double-digit EPS growth, despite the challenges presented by the ongoing difficulties in Western Europe and volume declines in fragrance ingredients. Our performance against this backdrop underscores the strength and diversity of our portfolio and geographic reach, as well as our ability to drive manufacturing efficiencies and control operating costs. As expected, increases in raw material costs are beginning to moderate and price realization has improved, resulting in margin expansion and operating profit growth.”
Tough noted that quarterly growth was driven by the flavors business, which achieved high single-digit local currency growth in every region and 8% growth overall, on top of 8% growth in the prior year, reflecting the balanced and consistent nature of this business. IFF’s fragrances compounds business increased by 6% overall, led by strong growth in Latin America and Greater Asia, which offset continued softness in ingredients.
“We continue to be cautiously optimistic in our outlook, given the lagging economic growth and uneven recovery cycle,” said Tough. “Although we achieved solid momentum in both flavors and fragrance compounds, we believe we will continue to face a weak economic environment in Western Europe and softness in fragrance ingredients. Longer term, we see significant growth opportunities for the business and believe we are well positioned to achieve our long-term goals.”
Positive Impact at Clorox
• Clorox posted a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, as price increases, lower advertising spending and a decreased tax rate offset higher costs, and it stood by its forecast for the current fiscal year.
Sales rose 4% to $1.54 billion for the fourth quarter.
For the year, Clorox sales rose 5% to more than $5.4 billion. Volume increased 2%, but net income dipped less than 1% to $543 million.
“I’m very pleased with our strong finish to fiscal year 2012,” said chairman and CEO Don Knauss.
“Despite the continuing challenges of a tough global economy, we delivered strong fourth-quarter results, growing sales for the sixth consecutive quarter. We continued to see our categories recover, and our US all-outlet market share reached a record-high.”
A Challenging Year For Regis Corp.
• Regis Corp. got clipped in fiscal 2012. For the year, sales fell 2.2% to $2.3 billion. Same-store sales declined 3.1%; however, net income rose 13% to $80.5 million. For the fourth quarter, sales slipped 4% to $568.2 million. In North American salons, revenues fell 4.7% to $487.9 million.
Commenting on fiscal 2012, Dan Hanrahan, president and chief executive officer, said, “Regis faced a number of challenges in the past year, but reported operational earnings per diluted share of $1.30, which was up 11.4% from fiscal 2011. We have lots of work ahead of us. The previously announced sale of non-core assets will allow us to focus on our core business.
“The gain in fourth quarter operational earnings amidst a negative sales trend reflects Regis’ ongoing commitment to controlling costs, managing our business more efficiently and a decrease in the effective income tax rate,” he added.
“I have been on the job for less than three weeks and I believe there is significant opportunity to improve our performance. We are committed to improving the salon experience for our guests, hiring and retaining the best stylists, continuing our efforts to simplify our operating model and effectively leveraging our scale as North America’s largest salon company.”
Ulta Names SettersenActing Chief Financial Officer
• Ulta Beauty appointed Scott Settersten as acting chief financial officer, effective immediately. He replaces Bruce L. Hartman, who has resigned from his position as chief financial officer by mutual agreement with the company. Chuck Rubin, president and CEO, said, “We are fortunate to have Scott serve as acting chief financial officer. Scott’s exceptional finance and accounting experience will serve Ulta Beauty well as we move forward. During his seven years at Ulta Beauty, Scott has demonstrated a keen financial aptitude and excellent leadership and management capabilities.
“Scott is committed to serving as Acting CFO where he will lead our experienced and dedicated finance team. Ulta Beauty continues to excel in the marketplace due to our strong business model, superior execution results and strong growth potential for the future.”
Settersten has served as vice president of accounting since 2010 and was responsible for accounting, tax and external reporting. In his role, he has also overseen investor relations and has worked closely with the Audit Committee and Board of Directors. He joined Ulta Beauty in January 2005 as a director of financial reporting.
Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, Settersten spent 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Amway Teams Up With Bank of America
• In recognition of its outstanding partnership, commitment to innovation and support of Amway Independent Business Owners, Bank of America has been named Amway North America’s 2012 Partner of the Year.
Bank of America provides Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) with the Amway Visa credit card, which offers points on everyday purchases, to assist IBOs in strengthening and growing their Amway businesses. The Visa program is one of Amway’s most successful and longest-running Partner Stores programs, the company contends.
“World class customer service and the highest product quality standards in the industry make Bank of America the clear choice for Amway Partner of the Year,” said Jori Hartwig, vice president of marketing for Amway North America.
“They’ve also demonstrated their commitment to Amway and our Independent Business Owners by providing electronic payment innovation that will help grow the business.”
Winners of the 2012 Partner of the Year Award were announced during Amway’s Supplier Business Meeting held in late September in Ada, Mich.
More than 150 of Amway’s top partners and suppliers participated in this year’s event, according to the company.