• Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Obagi Medical Products Inc. According to reports, Valeant will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Obagi for $19.75 a share in cash, or $360 million.
The professional skin care company was founded by Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Zein Obagi in 1988. The Obagi brand is only available through medical professionals. Dr. Obagi sold his controlling interest to outside investors in 1997.
At press time, the Obagi board approved the offer, and both companies expect the transaction to be completed in the second quarter of 2013.
Beiersdorf Annual Sales Rise 7.2% to $7.8 Billion
• Last year was a good year for Beiersdorf AG. Group sales climbed 7.2% to $7.77 billion (€6.04 billion). Operating profit rose 13.8% to $944.9 million (€735 million).
According to the company, Nivea innovations are driving sales. Nivea sales rose 6.4% worldwide, due to the success of Nivea Deo, Nivea Body and Nivea Shower. Eucerin’s revenues increased 6.6%, while La Prairie’s sales rose 6.1% following the rollout of the Caviar Collection.
Sales for the company’s consumer division rose 7.5% to $6.49 billion (5.05 billion euros).
Sales in North America rose 2.7%, boosted by Nivea Men and Nivea Face. Sales within Africa, Australia and Asia rose 9.9%. Consumer sales in Europe were almost flat at 0.6%; however, regionally, Eastern European sales rose 8.7%. Sales in The Americas rose 12.6%, with Latin American sales rising 17.7%, driven by Brazil.
“The focus remains on strengthening our brands—first and foremost Nivea—developing innovative products and extending our presence in emerging markets,” said the company’s chief executive Stefan F. Heidenreich.
Energizer Faces Challenges In Personal Care Unit
• Energizer Holdings, Inc. said quarterly sales were flat at $1.2 billion. Personal care net sales fell 1.4% to $554.3 million.
“Earnings for the quarter slightly exceeded our expectations,” said Ward Klein, chief executive officer. “Despite top-line challenges in our personal care division due to heightened competitive promotional activity, our Hydro franchise continues to grow and to show strong repeat purchases.”
According to Klein, the company has several innovative products that are launching this quarter that he anticipates will positively impact the top-line growth in fiscal 2013.
“In addition, our restructuring plans remain on track to achieve $25 to $35 million in savings for fiscal 2013,” he added.
In personal care, wet shave net sales decreased 3.9% on a reported basis, and 3.3% operationally in the quarter. Sales of Schick Hydro men’s systems continued to grow, up 26% in the quarter, on higher refill volume, higher Schick Hydro Power razor sales and lower promotional spending. Additionally, incremental Schick Hydro Silk sales offset the sales decline in legacy women’s systems in the quarter. These increases were more than offset by sales declines in disposables, men’s legacy systems and shave preps due, in part, to heavy competitive promotional activity.
“Within personal care, our sales expectation remains consistent with our initial financial outlook in November, which was mid-single digit sales growth driven by innovation across our categories, especially in wet shave and skin care,” noted Klein. “As expected, this innovation pipeline did not have a material impact in the first fiscal quarter. For household products we continue to expect a low-single digit sales decline for the remainder of the fiscal year, driven by continuing category volume declines and some additional impact, most notably in the second fiscal quarter, from the previously discussed shelf space and display losses in the US nearly one year ago.”
Fragrance Drives Business At Elizabeth Arden
• Elizabeth Arden, Inc. reported an 8.8% increase in net sales of $467.9 million for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012. In North America, net sales increased 8.4% for the quarter and 13% fiscal year-to-date.
The company’s fragrance portfolio continued to add market share, with prestige and mass retailers gaining 2.15% and 2.1%, respectively. Sales growth was driven by the recently acquired brands, new launches, including Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend, Pink Friday Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted, which all ranked among the top fragrance launches in US prestige department stores for the holiday season, as well as from existing pillar fragrance brands.
Performance at prestige retailers was strong with a number of the company’s key existing brands as well, with the largest retail sales increases posted by the Juicy Couture, John Varvatos and Curve fragrances.
Net sales of Elizabeth Arden branded products decreased 6% for the quarter and 6.5% fiscal year-to-date in North America. In terms of retail sales, overall retail sales at Elizabeth Arden counters in North America were flat, with the company’s recently converted Elizabeth Arden flagship counters increasing 24% year over year since conversion through the end of December. Internationally, net sales grew 11% for the second fiscal quarter and 10% for the fiscal year-to-date.
“Second quarter sales and earnings were up solidly from the prior year, with strong retail sales performance within our North America and international businesses,” said E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden, Inc. “Nonetheless, our net sales results were below original guidance due to lower than forecasted sales in department stores as well as softer than anticipated holiday sales at one of our major mass retail accounts. Despite strong sales growth among many of our global affiliates, international net sales were impacted by lower than expected inventory replenishment in our travel retail business and weakness in Greater China.”
Beattie said the company successfully completed the conversion of its Elizabeth Arden flagship doors and is very excited with the momentum of sales increases. The flagship model was established as a way for the company to test, learn, and gather feedback on the repositioning of the Elizabeth Arden brand as well as build confidence in the growth potential of the brand with its key retail partners. Flagship counters in the North American markets were converted months ago, with all door conversions complete by the end of October. US flagship doors delivered 24% year-over-year retail sales growth from conversion through the end of December, well in excess of the US prestige category, which grew 5% for the second quarter.
“The timing of the conversion of international flagship doors was staggered across the quarter due to retailer constraints.
International flagship doors delivered 9% retail sales growth from conversion, reflecting later conversion dates as compared to the flagship doors in North America, and are gaining momentum by the week. The most recent weeks have achieved retail sales growth of 23%. Given our early success, we plan to extend key elements of the flagship model to the next tier of approximately 200 doors globally during the remainder of fiscal 2013 and drive sales growth behind the roll out of new products for our international markets during the second half of the fiscal year.”
For the six months ended Dec. 31, 2012, the company reported a 10.8% rise in net sales to $812.5 million.
Inter Parfums’ Sales Rise 6.3% in 2012
• Inter Parfums’ 2012 net sales increased 6.3% to $654.1 million, ahead of previous guidance. However, net sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 fell 6.4% to $176.9 million.
“The past year was highly eventful and productive for our company,” said Jean Madar, chairman and CEO of Inter Parfums. “In addition to achieving record sales and earnings in the absence of new major product launches, we added two new license agreements with iconic luxury fashion houses, Karl Lagerfeld and Alfred Dunhill. The addition of these brands is representative of our growth strategy as we move into the next phase of our company’s evolution.”
Madar noted that 2012 sales benefitted from strong performances by several prestige brands. Notably, Montblanc sales increased 40%, driven by continued momentum of the extremely popular Legend men’s line, the best-selling fragrance for men across Inter Parfums’ entire prestige portfolio. Jimmy Choo continued to build upon the success of its signature scent with brand sales increasing 26% for the year. Also adding to company growth were sales of Boucheron fragrances during its first full year in Inter Parfums’ brand portfolio. Sales by US operations benefitted from initial sales under the Anna Sui license, initial sales of travel amenities, plus new product launches and continued global distribution of specialty retail products, especially under the Banana Republic, Gap and bebe brands.
“Looking ahead, we are extremely enthusiastic about our prospects for growth coming from our core brands, recent additions and hopefully new ones that may be added,” he explained.
In 2013, Inter Parfums has a full slate of product launches underway or planned. Flash by Jimmy Choo, Me by Lanvin and Desire by bebe have debuted, and the company has new products in the pipeline for Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Repetto, plus brand extensions, flankers and special items for the gift-giving holiday season.
“Beyond this year, we are moving forward developing new fragrances for the Karl Lagerfeld and Alfred Dunhill brands for launch in 2014,” he concluded.
Candle Sales Down at Blyth
• Blyth, Inc. posted a 4% drop in net sales for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2012 to $331.0 million. Sales growth of ViSalus, as compared to the prior year period, was more than offset by declines at PartyLite and Miles Kimball Company.
“Blyth achieved two significant objectives at the end of last year that positions it for profitable growth as a direct-to-consumer marketing company,” said Robert B. Goergen, chairman and chief executive officer. “First, the sale of Sterno completed our transformation from a multi-channel company to one focused on the direct selling and direct marketing channels of distribution. Second, we arrived at a new, long-term understanding with the ViSalus founders that preserves their ability to remain equity participants in the business as we work together to achieve global market penetration.”
Regarding the PartyLite and Miles Kimball Company businesses, Goergen said the company continues to invest in its candles & home decor and catalog & internet businesses in order to attain long-term sales and earnings growth.