Net sales for the company’s international segment increased by 5.3%, and were strongest in the company's Greater China and European markets. Net sales in the Company's North America segment declined by 3.0%, reflecting significant fragrance launch volume in the prior year period.
For the quarter, net sales of Elizabeth Arden branded products increased by 11.1%, with increases across the skin care, color cosmetics and fragrance categories. Retail sales at the company's Elizabeth Arden flagship counters have increased 20% in North America year over year since conversion, and retail sales at the company’s international flagship doors have increased 13.4% since conversion, or 21.6% excluding underperforming travel retail doors in Korea. Elizabeth Arden brand net sales growth was strongest in the Company’s focus markets of China, North America and Europe.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer E. Scott Beattie commented, “Overall results for the quarter were essentially in line with our expectations. We are pleased with the progress of the Elizabeth Arden brand repositioning as well as our other key initiatives. Recall, we had strong sales growth in the first half of last year due to the contribution of acquisitions and an unprecedented level of fragrance launch volume. This clearly has an impact on revenue growth and gross margin improvement comparisons for this fiscal year. As we head into the holiday season, we expect to continue to execute against our plans, but our outlook remains cautious given the continued challenging economic environment globally.”
Beattie continued, “We are pleased to welcome Eric Lauzat to our company as executive vice president and general manager, International. Eric has had a distinguished career at L’Oreal where he was a key commercial leader instrumental in building prestige beauty businesses in various regions of the world. He has an exemplary track record of organization building and commercial brand development of prestige beauty brands across categories in the regions he managed, including the Lancome and Biotherm beauty brands, as well as the Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent fragrances. Eric’s organizational leadership of our international business should help accelerate the development of our international teams, our customer relationships and our brand portfolio.”