Sales: $958 million
$958 million. Net income: $16.4 million for the year ended Jan. 31, 2010
Robert B. Goergen, chairman and chief executive officer; Robert H. Barghaus, vice president and chief financial officer; Anne M. Butler, vice president and president, PartyLite Worldwide; Robert B. Goergen Jr., vice president and president, multichannel group; Jane F. Casey, vice president, treasurer; Joseph T. Cirillo, vice president, reporting and planning; Michael S. Novins, vice president and general counsel; Tyler P. Schuessler, vice president, organizational development and investor relations
Home fragrances including PartyLite, Easy Comforts, Colonial Candle and Sterno. Personal care brands include As We Change, Easy Comforts, ViSalus Sciences and Walter Drake
In 1976, Bob Goergen partnered with three colleagues to purchase Valley Candle in Brooklyn, NY. Less than a year later, they acquired Candle Corporation of America, based in Chicago, IL, and almost 35 years later Blyth is nearly a billion-dollar company.
PartyLite Scentglow Warmer, Margarita Collection
In this economy, candle makers are getting burned—Blyth’s sales fell 9% last year to $958 million.
By segment, direct selling, which represents 63% of the company’s results, fell 4% to $635.2 million. PartyLite’s U.S. sales decreased approximately 14% compared to the prior year, due to recession, a decline in PartyLite shows and a decrease in shows per consultant. Still the number of PartyLite’s active independent U.S. sales consultants was even with the previous year. Sales of PartyLite Canada fell 17%. PartyLite’s European sales increased 3%, driven by strong sales in Germany, France and Austria.
Net sales in the catalog and internet segment (18% of sales) fell 13% to $166 million. Sales decreased across all catalogs due to lower consumer discretionary spending, as well as a planned reduction in catalog circulation in an effort to reduce selling costs through more targeted catalog delivery.
Net sales in the wholesale segment (16% of sales) decreased 20% to $156.8 million. The company blamed the decline on the weak housing market and overall economy.
Is the Party Over?
For the first quarter ended April 30, 2010, sales fell 6% to $201.5 million.
“We continued to experience downward sales pressure in our U.S. business units during the first quarter, driven by a sales decline in PartyLite U.S. as party cancellations continued to trend above historical rates and active independent sales consultants declined from prior year levels,” explained Robert B. Goergen, Blyth’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Management has moved aggressively to incorporate more value-priced products into the portfolio which, when combined with PartyLite’s platinum quality candles, home fragrance products and an innovative new product line, offer a compelling reason for consumers to host or attend a party.”