HEALTH

Second half of cold season holds promise

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Cough-cold supplier Matrixx on Thursday credited tough comparisons against the prior season’s high pre-season inventory purchases by retailers due to the publicity of the H1N1 flu outbreak for the lower level of sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.

The company reported net sales of $20.3 million, down 29%. However, a lift in late December cough-cold illness rates holds promise for the second half of the season.

“We began to see increases in consumer purchases of our products during [late November, December] as new advertising commenced and the incidence of illness surpassed last year’s illness level,” said Bill Hemelt, Matrixx president and CEO. “Retailers continued to trim their inventory levels in comparison to last year; however, we believe retailers’ inventory of our products has reached a point where they will increase purchases to offset the increased consumer takeaway,” he said.

“For the four weeks ended Dec. 26, 2010, retail unit sales (three-outlet syndicated scanner data, not including Walmart or club stores) of Zicam Cold Remedy oral delivery products increased approximately 30%, while the total cough-cold category increased approximately 5% compared to the prior year," Hemelt added. "For the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, we anticipate revenue increasing 3% to 5% above the $67.3 million achieved in fiscal 2010."

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Matrixx provides ‘go-shop’ process update

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Matrixx Initiatives on Friday provided a summary of the ongoing "go-shop" process initiated by the company after Wonder Holdings proposed a merger agreement. The “go-shop” process is scheduled to run through Jan. 22.

To date, Matrixx’s financial adviser, Sawaya Segalas, has contacted 132 separate parties that were identified as potentially interested parties. Of the parties contacted, 48 were strategic parties, and 84 were financial parties. From this group, 31 parties executed confidentiality agreements, including seven strategic parties and 24 financial parties.

As of Friday, all of these parties have withdrawn from the “go-shop” process.

Wonder commenced a tender offer to purchase for cash all of the outstanding shares of Matrixx common stock at a price of $8 per share. The tender offer will expire at 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 31.

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CHPA names new VP

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Thursday announced that Emily Skor has been selected to serve as VP communications and alliance development, effective Feb. 14.

Reporting to CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville, Skor will oversee and provide strategic direction for all association communications, media relations, public education, brand management, consumer and market research and strategic partnerships. She also will oversee the CHPA Educational Foundation and serve as a member of the association’s senior management team.

“Emily brings to CHPA an outstanding record of developing and implementing strategic communications campaigns that raise awareness, build support and educate consumers and other stakeholders,” Melville stated. “She’ll be a great addition to the CHPA management team and will ensure the association effectively highlights the role and value of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in our nation’s healthcare system.”

Skor most recently served as SVP at Dezenhall Resources, a nationally recognized high-stakes communications firm, where for more than a decade she counseled Fortune 500 companies and industry associations in the healthcare sector, among others. Prior to her agency experience at Dezenhall Resources, Skor managed public affairs and public relations programs for government agencies, nonprofits and industry associations as a senior account executive at Cohn & Wolf.

Skor is an alumna of Wellesley College, where she received a B.A. with honors in political science.

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