Top Companies Report

20. Blyth

July 7, 2009

Greenwich, CT
Sales: $1.1 billion

Sales: $1.1 billion. Net loss: $15.5 million for the 12 months ended Jan. 31, 2009.

Key Personnel: Robert B. Goergen, chairman and chief executive officer; Robert H. Barghaus, vice president and chief executive officer; Robert B. Goergen Jr., vice president and president, multichannel group; Anne M. Butler, vice president and president, PartyLite Worldwide

Major Products: Candles and home fragrance products. Brands include PartyLite, Miles Kimball, Exposures, Walter Drake, Boca Java, Colonial Candle, CBK, Seasons of Cannon Falls and Ambria.

Comments: Sales fell about 10% last year. Direct sales fell 3% to account for $664 million. PartyLite’s U.S. sales fell 23% due to a decline in sales consultants (27,000 to 21,000) and fewer shows.

Due to a weak housing market, sales within the wholesale segment tumbled 28% to just over $196 million. Finally, sales in the catalog and internet segment fell 8% to $190 million, due to lower discretionary spending.

The gloomy picture continued into the first quarter, as sales fell 7% to $214.7 million.

“Consumer spending during the first quarter was weak and was overwhelmingly value-driven as evidenced by sales trends in each of our North American businesses,” noted Robert B. Goergen, chairman and chief executive officer. “In Europe, however, our sales increased 7% in local currency as consumer spending continued to hold up better.”