Helen of Troy Ltd., a designer, developer and marketer of brand-name personal care products, reported record sales and earnings for the second quarter and 6 months ended Aug. 31, 2003.
Second quarter sales increased 4.3 percent to a record U.S. $115.8 million versus sales of $111.1 million for the same period of the prior year. Second-quarter net income increased 48 percent to a record $13.1 million or $0.42 per diluted share, from $8.9 million or $0.30 per diluted share for the same period a year earlier.
First-half sales climbed 4.1 percent to a record $222.3 million from sales of $213.5 million for last year's first half. Net earnings for the first half of this year was $27.9 million or $0.92 per diluted share, versus $15.5 million or $0.52 per diluted share in the comparable period last year, representing an 81-percent increase in net earnings.
"Our business continues to do well, and we are pleased with our overall results," Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, CEO, and president of Helen of Troy said in a company statement. "Sales increased in every segment of our business, except Tactica. Our sales leaders include the International division, retail personal care products, the Professional division, and Idelle Labs skin and hair care products. "
According to Mr. Rubin, second-quarter operating income increased 1.6-percentage points to 12.7 percent of net sales from 11.1 percent a year ago. Second-quarter net income increased 3.3-percentage points to 11.3 percent from 8.0 percent a year ago.
"Helen of Troy continues to have a strong balance sheet, with cash of $33.4 million, stockholders' equity of $319.8 million, which represents an increase of $53.7 million in stockholders' equity from the comparable period last year, and accounts receivable of $80.8 million," said Mr. Rubin. "Inventory at quarter end was $147.1 million, which we believe is appropriate for our current levels of overall business heading into the strong fall selling season."
He continued: "As previously announced we have entered into an agreement to acquire the Brut brand in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and elsewhere in Latin America from Unilever. This transaction closed on Sept. 29, 2003. Therefore, we are raising our current fiscal year earnings per diluted share guidance from $1.75-$1.80 to $1.85-$1.90, or a 41- to 45-percent increase from the prior fiscal year's diluted earnings per share of $1.31.
"We are also projecting earnings per diluted share for our next fiscal year beginning March 1, 2004 to be in the range of $2.15 to $2.25 per share. Our business and financial performance continues to be strong and consistent. This quarter marks 35 of the past 38 quarters with year-over-year sales increases, and 34 of the past 38 quarters with year-over-year increases in net earnings."
To date, pursuant to the company’s recently approved Stock Repurchase Plan, Mr. Rubin concluded by saying the company has repurchased 81,800 shares of common stock at an average price of $24.76 per share.
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