BEAUTY CARE

Revlon announces improved Q1 financials

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Revlon announced on Thursday that it narrowed its first-quarter loss as it gears up for the launch of several new products, including the new Revlon Beyond Natural collection for eyes, lips and face.

Net loss during the quarter ended March 31 totaled $2.5 million, or nil per diluted share, compared with a loss in the year ago period of $35.2 million, or 7 cents per share. Operating income was $32.5 million compared with $3 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was $58.1 million versus $32.2 million last year.

Operating income, net loss and adjusted EBITDA in the current quarter included a net gain of $6 million related to the sale of non-core trademarks. Operating income, net loss and adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2007 were reduced by $4.3 million due to restructuring charges and included a benefit of $4.4 million from the reduction of lease liability to the consolidation of office space in New York.

Revlon attributed the improvement in operating income, net loss and adjusted EBITDA during the current quarter to lower SG&A expenses, as the first quarter of 2007 included significant brand support expenses related to the launch of Revlon Colorist hair color.

Net sales decreased 2.5 percent to $320.4 million compared with net sales of $328.6 million in the year-ago period. In the United States, net sales decreased 8.3 percent to $177.2 million.

“Our strong financial results for the first quarter of 2008 build upon our performance in 2007. These results continue to validate our strategy, and we remain focused on increasing the value of our company by building the Revlon brand,” stated David Kennedy, Revlon president and chief executive officer.

The beauty company noted that, in the United States, its Revlon Custom Creations foundation and Revlon ColorStay Mineral foundation were ranked in the ACNielsen top 10 new products (by retail dollar sales) in the first quarter, and three new Almay product launches were in the top 20, namely, Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color makeup and Almay Intense i-Color mascara and eye shadow.

For the second half of 2008, the company will be launching several new products under the Revlon and Almay brands. New launches include:

  • Revlon Beyond Natural: A collection for face, eyes and lip that includes a smoothing primer, a skin matching makeup, a concealer and highlighter in a single compact, a cream-to-powder eye shadow, a defining eye pencil, mascara, cream lip gloss and a protective lip tint.
  • Revlon ColorStay Mineral Lipglaze that promises to last up to eight hours and is an extension of the Revlon ColorStay mineral face and eye collection.
  • Revlon Lash Fantasy Total Definition Mascara: A relaunch of the Lash Fantasy mascara.
  • Crush on Color: A summer 2008 collection of 13 new and on-trend shades that will be introduced into the Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick and lip gloss, Revlon ColorStay 12-hour eye shadow and Revlon nail enamel.
  • Almay Bright Eyes Collection: A three-product collection of eye base and concealer, eye shadow and eye liner/highlighter duo.
  • Almay Smart Shade Concealer, which is another extension of the Smart Shade line.
  • Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color Pressed Powder: A long-wear makeup that incorporates skin care benefits.

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BEAUTY CARE

FDA looking to hire 1,300 new employees

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration is hiring. The agency is looking for, in demand, biologists, chemists, medical officers, mathematical statisticians and investigators.

The FDA is looking to fill over 1,300 positions to help meet its responsibilities to assure the safety and/or efficacy of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, food, cosmetics and products that emit radiation.

In 2008 alone, the FDA is looking to fill more than 600 new positions and to backfill over 700 others to implement the FDA Amendments Act of 2007, the Food Protection Plan and the Import Safety Action Plan. That’s nearly triple the number of people hired from 2005-07.

Positions will be available throughout the agency, including in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, the Center for Veterinary Medicine, the National Center for Toxicological Research, the Office of the Commissioner and the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

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Colgate-Palmolive posts strong Q1 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Colgate-Palmolive announced on Wednesday that it posted strong first-quarter results thanks in part to new product launches in the oral care segment.

Worldwide sales grew 15.5 percent to $3.7 billion and unit volume grew 5 percent. Excluding divestments, worldwide sales and unit volume grew 16 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.

First-quarter results include $21.2 million of aftertax charges related to the 2004 restructuring program. The year-ago quarter included restructuring charges of $29.9 million and other items totaling a net gain of $95.4 million aftertax.

Reported net income and diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $466.5 million and 86 cents, respectively. This compares with net income and diluted earnings per share of $486.6 and 89 cents, respectively, in the year-ago period. Excluding charges, net income increased 16 percent in the quarter to a record $487.7 million and diluted earnings per share increased 17 percent to 90 cents, also a record.

“We continue to believe that Colgate is executing at a high level and market share gains, price increases and new products should contribute to sustained top-line expansion in 2008,” stated SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Chappell in a research note.

In North America, sales grew 7 percent as unit volume rose 4.5 percent. New product launches contributed to growth in oral care.

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 15.7 percent, according to the company. Colgate Max Fresh Burst and Colgate Sensitive toothpastes were also strong performers in the quarter. Meanwhile, Colgate’s share of the manual toothbrush market is at a record high of 27.1 percent year to date, up 1.3 share points versus year ago. The growth is fueled by the success of Colgate 360 degree, Colgate 360 degree Sensitive and new Colgate 360 degree Deep Clean manual toothbrushes.

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