BEAUTY CARE

Energizer growth driven by personal care segment

BY Antoinette Alexander

ST. LOUIS Energizer Holdings’ stronger foothold in the personal care segment following last year’s acquisition of Playtex appears to be paying off as the personal care segment proved to be the growth driver during the third quarter.

For the quarter, total net sales increased $266.7 million, or 33 percent, to $1.07 billion due primarily to the acquisition of Playtex on Oct. 1, 2007, which added $246 million to net sales. Net sales in the legacy personal care business rose $31.4 million while net sales in the household products business dropped $10.7 million.

Net earnings for the quarter were $66.7 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, versus net earnings of $62.5 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, in the year-ago period. The current quarter includes an after-tax expense of $1.9 million, or 3 cents per diluted share, related to Playtex integration costs and a $4 million expense for income taxes, or 7 cents per diluted share, to adjust prior year tax accruals.

“General economic conditions continue to impact our battery business, and it remains to be seen if category softness will impact the upcoming holiday season,” stated Ward Klein, chief executive officer. “Within personal care, wet shave showed good growth behind the Quattro family of products, which was due in part to new product introductions earlier this year. In addition, we are pleased with Playtex’s solid business performance given our significant integration efforts, which remain on schedule. Finally, we were able to make good progress on reducing our leverage ratio and expect to be under 3.5 by the end of calendar 2008, if not sooner.”

On a constant currency basis, sales rose 4 percent in the personal care segment driven by higher wet shave and sun care sales, partially due to the inclusion of Hawaiian Tropic for the full quarter. Wet shave sales rose 4 percent due to $19.1 million in higher sales volumes spread across all geographic regions driven by the Quattro brand. Skin care net sales rose 11 percent due to higher sun care sales due partially to the inclusion of Hawaiian Tropic for the full quarter. Excluding Hawaiian Tropic, skin care net sales rose 7 percent. Feminine care net sales slipped 4 percent due primarily to the discontinuation of Beyond along with declines in plastic applicator tampons as the prior year quarter included the launch volume of the large count Sport product.

Segment profit rose $15.2 million to $83.2 million for the quarter. On a constant currency basis, segment profit rose $9 million.

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Colgate reports double-digit growth, earnings in Q2

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Colgate announced on Tuesday that it posted its seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit operating profit, net income and earnings per share growth.

Worldwide sales for the quarter rose 16.5 percent to $3.96 billion and unit volume rose 5 percent. The top-line growth was supported by an 18 percent boost in worldwide advertising spending to an all-time record level.

Operating profit as reported rose 17 percent compared with the year-ago period to $767 million. Excluding restructuring charges, operating profit climbed up 13 percent to an all-time record of $805.9 million.

Net income and diluted earnings per share totaled $493.8 million and 92 cents, respectively. Excluding restructuring charges, net income increased 14 percent in second-quarter 2008 to a record $523.3 million and diluted earnings per share rose 17 percent to 98 cents, also a record, the company stated.

“Higher advertising spending behind regular and new products worldwide drove market share gains across categories. Colgate’s global toothpaste leadership continues to strengthen with market share gains in many countries around the world including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China and Russia,” stated Ian Cook, chief executive officer. “Other categories achieving global share gains include manual toothbrushes, power toothbrushes, mouth rinse, bar soaps, hand dish liquid and pet nutrition.”

In North America, sales grew 6.5 percent as unit volume rose 4.5 percent and pricing increased 1.5 percent.

In the United States, Colgate Total Advanced Clean and Colgate Total Advanced Whitening toothpastes, supported by an integrated marketing campaign featuring Brooke Shields and a professional sampling program, helped drive market share for Colgate Total toothpaste to its highest quarterly share ever at 16.2 percent. Colgate Max Fresh and Colgate Sensitive toothpastes were also strong performers in the quarter. Colgate’s share of the manual toothbrush market is at a record high of 27.8 percent year-to-date, according to the company. That is up 2.1 share points versus the year-ago period. This growth was fueled by the sales of Colgate 360, Colgate 360 Sensitive and the new Colgate 360 Deep Clean manual toothbrushes.

New products contributing to growth in the United States in other categories include Colgate 360 Sonic Power battery toothbrush, Irish Spring Moisture Blast and Irish Spring Reviving Mint body wash for men.

Introductions scheduled to begin shipping in the third quarter include Max Fresh with Mouthwash Beads, the first toothpaste infused with mini dissolvable mouthwash beads packaged in a clear tube.

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Revlon sells Bozzano, other Brazilian brands

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Revlon has sold its non-core Bozzano brand, a men’s hair care and shaving line, and certain other non-core brands sold in the Brazilian market.

Revlon brand color cosmetics will continue to be marketed in Brazil through its current third party distributor.

The gross purchase price was about $104 million in cash. The company expects net proceeds, after payment of taxes and transaction costs, to be about $94 million. It is currently evaluating the most appropriate use of net proceeds from the deal.

“Our business strategy is to build and leverage our strong brands worldwide, particularly the Revlon brand. This transaction presented Revlon with an opportunity to monetize a non-core, non-strategic brand at a very attractive valuation, while enabling us to remain focused on building our core brands around the world,” stated Revlon president and chief executive officer David Kennedy.

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