Top Companies Report

20. Blyth

June 28, 2012

Greenwich, CT
Sales: $888 million.
Net income: $16 million.

Key Personnel: Robert B. Goergen, chairman and chief executive officer; Robert H. Barhaus, vice president and chief financial officer; Robert B. Goergen Jr., president, direct selling group, Blyth and president, PartyLite Worldwide; Jane F. Casey, vice president, treasurer; Joseph T. Cirillo, vice president, reporting and planning; Tyler P. Schuessler, vice president, organizational development and investor relations.

Major Products: Home fragrance—PartyLite, Easy Comforts, Colonial Candle, Sterno. Personal care—As We Change, Easy Comforts, ViSalus Sciences, Walter Drake.

Comments: Last year, Blyth changed its annual reporting period from January 31 to Dec. 31, so these results reflect an 11-monthperiod. Net sales increased approximately 20%, due to increases within the direct selling (78% of sales) and wholesale segments.

Direct sales rose 26% to $690 million due to greater demand for ViSalus and a jump from 8000 promoters to 59,000. PartyLite’s net sales fell nearly 10% to $462 million due to a 22% drop in the US business. The decline was blamed on an 11% decline in the number of PartyLite’s active US representatives. PartyLite’s European sales fell 4% due to lower sales in Germany, France and the UK. The number of European sales consultants, fell 4%. PartyLite Europe represented approximately 61% of PartyLite’s worldwide net sales.

Net sales in the catalog and internet segment (15% of sales) fell 1% to about $137 million, while net sales in the wholesale segment (7% of sales), increased 14% to nearly $61 million. That gain was attributed to Sterno price increases.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, sales soared more than 50% to $283 million and the company reported net income of $11 million, compared to a loss of $833,000 the previous year. The direct sales unit reported an 82% increase in sales to $236 million. Sales within the catalog and internet unit fell 9% to nearly $34 million.

In May, Blyth announced a two-for-one stock split, which increased its total shares outstanding to 17.2 million. Blyth shares rose from the mid-30s in 2011 to a high of $90 before dropping to $70 a share at press time.


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