SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass.-Thanks to gains in sales and gross margin, Yankee Candle was able to reduce its first-quarter net loss from $3.5 million last year to $1.7 million this year.
Total net sales for the candle manufacturer were $163.4 million, up 5.4 percent, in the quarter, which ended on March 30. The company posted sales gains of 10.2 percent in its retail segment, its largest, driven by pickups in sales from its consumer-direct business, in same-store sales (up 10.3 percent) and in sales from Yankee Candle stores opened after the first quarter of 2012.
In addition, Yankee Candle posted a 27.8 percent gain in sales from its international segment. Wholesale sales fell 13.1 percent in the quarter.
Gross margin provided some help to the bottom line by increasing 132 basis points in the quarter, to 55.4 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 6.3 percent in dollars and 41 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 47.1 percent.
“We believe that our solid first-quarter performance…is continued evidence that we are gaining traction from the strategic investments we have been making in our growth businesses, as well as in consumer insights, digital marketing, systems and talent to drive our core businesses,” said Harlan Kent, Yankee Candle’s CEO.