BEAUTY CARE

Bare Escentuals introduces two more RareMinerals products

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO Bare Escentuals, a maker of mineral makeup, has launched two new mineral-based skin care products under its RareMinerals product line.

The new Renew & Reveal facial cleanser and blemish therapy augment the RareMinerals skin care line, offering natural, mineral-based alternatives to traditional cleanser and acne treatment products.

According to the company, the Renew & Reveal facial cleanser is the first ever mineral-based cleanser in a concentrated powder form that gently cleanses, exfoliates and nourishes skin while restoring its natural radiance. The water-activated formula comes in powder form to maintain its purity and potency.

The blemish therapy treatment is designed to clear and heal blemishes. The formula combines the proprietary 100 percent pure RareMinerals concentrate with the acne-fighting benefits of natural sulfur.

The products, which initially launched on QVC, will roll out to expanded distribution in the first half of 2008 including Bare Escentuals Boutiques and Web site, Sephora, Ulta, domestic spas, and select Nordstrom’s and Macy’s.

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Clorox sales up after Burt’s Bees acquisition

BY Antoinette Alexander

OAKLAND, Calif. Clorox on Monday reported a second quarter sales boost of 8 percent thanks, in part, to its acquisition of natural personal care company Burt’s Bees, as it trimmed its fiscal 2008 outlook to reflect costs.

“Although the commodities environment remains challenging, we delivered strong top-line growth, and our business is strong across the portfolio. On Nov. 30, we completed the acquisition of Burt’s Bees, which is performing well. In December, we began shipping the Green Works line of natural cleansers, our most exciting launch in years,” stated Don Knauss, chairman and chief executive officer. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm across the organization about these new businesses, the momentum in our base business and our progress in delivering on our Centennial Strategy.” 

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Clorox posted sales growth of 8 percent to $1.19 billion compared with $1.10 billion in the year-ago period. Contributing about 1.5 percentage points each of sales growth: December results from the Burt’s Bees acquisition, the bleach businesses acquired in fiscal 2007 and favorable foreign exchange rates. Volume increased about 6 percent compared with last year, including about 1 percentage point of growth from Burt’s Bees. 

Net earnings totaled $92 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, compared with $96 million, or 62 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Among the items impacting the current quarter: the Burt’s Bees acquisition, which reduced pretax earnings by $5 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, primarily due to costs associated with the acquisition. 

For fiscal year 2008, the company now expects earnings of $3.20 per share to $3.35 per share for the year, from a previous range of $3.33 per share to $3.50 per share. The previous range did not include its Burt’s Bees acquisition. 

In addition, Clorox previously had stated that its acquisition of Burt’s Bees would lower earnings by 10 cents to 15 cents per share, but it now expects it will dampen profit by between 13 cents and 15 cents per share. 

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P&G’s beauty and grooming sales rise

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI While the big news to come out of Procter & Gamble’s second-quarter results was the spin-off of its coffee business, it should not go unnoticed that such beauty brands as Fusion, Head & Shoulders and Nice ‘N Easy helped drive sales and delivered double-digit volume growth.

Total sales for the quarter rose 9 percent to $21.6 billion from $19.7 billion in the year-ago period. Net earnings totaled $3.3 billion, or 98 cents per diluted share, compared with $2.9 billion, or 84 cents, in the year-ago period.

Operating margin was down slightly versus the year-ago period as a reduction in overhead spending as a percent of sales was more than offset by higher commodity and energy costs.

Beauty net sales rose 10 percent to $5.1 billion, and organic sales rose 5 percent. Skin care volume rose in the high-single digits behind Olay Definity and Regenerist. Hair care volume was up by low-single digits as strong results on Head & Shoulders were partially offset by softness in professional hair care. Net earnings in beauty were up 10 percent to $883 million.

Grooming net sales rose 9 percent to $2.2 billion behind 7 percent volume growth. Blades and razors volume was up by double-digits, led by double-digit developing region growth behind the expansion of Fusion. Net earnings in grooming were up 11 percent for the quarter to $429 million.

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