EL PASO, Texas-In what Gerald Rubin, chairman, president and CEO, described as a “solid start” to the new fiscal year, Helen of Troy’s net sales increased 1.4 percent to $304.5 million in its fiscal first quarter ending on May 31.
In a conference call to financial analysts yesterday, Rubin said one of the key drivers to the top line was a gain of 5.4 percent in the company’s housewares segment, thanks in part to Oxo’s new cleaning utility line, expanded shelf space at several key retailers and distribution to new customers. The health-care/home-environment segment posted a sales pickup of 2.6 percent, mostly in the water filtration category. Sales in the personal-care segment were down 1.8 percent, with declines in domestic appliances and grooming products offsetting an increase in the professional category.
Net income on an as-reported basis fell 38.7 percent to $14.4 million. This included one-time, non-cash impairment charges of $12 million from the company’s annual evaluation of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assessments for impairment. Without these charges, net income increased 12.6 percent to $26.4 million.
Looking at the “big picture,” Rubin told the analysts that Helen of Troy sees “good organic growth in our business overall as we remain focused on product innovation to provide consumers with the products and solutions they need and want.” He added that the company is preparing several product launches in the housewares and health-care/home-environment segments, and that Helen of Troy is refining its personal-care segment’s organizational structure and marketing and promotional activities.