Alberto Culver's Q2 sales climb

MELROSE PARK, Ill. — Alberto Culver reported a 6.1% increase in its second-quarter net sales for the period ended March 31.

The company that's behind such beauty care brands as Tresemme, Alberto VO5, Nexxus, St. Ives, Simple and Noxzema said second-quarter net sales rose to $408.2 million from $384.8 million in the prior-year second quarter. On an organic basis, which excludes the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, sales increased 4.3% in the current quarter, led by high single-digit branded beauty care sales growth.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 16.7% to 35 cents in the second quarter, compared with 30 cents in the year-ago period. Excluding restructuring and discrete items, diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 32.3% to 41 cents, compared with 31 cents in second quarter 2010.

The company said that the increase of U.S. sales by 1.9% was attributed to strong growth in branded beauty care, partially offset by significantly lower custom-label manufacturing sales. International sales on a reported basis increased 12%, reporting growth in every region in which the company operates. The net effect of foreign currency fluctuations accounted for approximately 4.4% of the growth, Alberto Culver said.

"I am very proud of our incredibly talented and dedicated team who, despite being faced with challenging market conditions and the pending Unilever transaction, continued to build momentum on our brands and deliver strong results," Alberto Culver president and CEO V. James Marino said.

Last fall, the company announced its definitive agreement to be acquired by Unilever for $37.50 per share in cash. Alberto Culver shareholders OKed the transaction in December 2010.

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