EL PASO, Texas-In what its CEO, Julien Mininberg, described as “a solid start” to its new fiscal year, Helen of Troy reported a 13.9 percent gain in first-quarter net income, which totaled 13.9 percent.
Net sales in the quarter, which ended on May 31, were up 2.4 percent to a record $311.8 million. Mininberg said Helen of Troy’s health-care/home environment segment recorded a double-digit increase and the housewares segment had a “solid” gain. The personal-care segment saw sales trail off compared to last year’s first quarter, which the company had anticipated.
Mininberg added that Helen of Troy “managed expenses well” in the quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses were essentially flat in dollars compared to last year’s quarter, and were down 70 basis points as a percentage of sales to 28 percent. Gross margin fell 120 basis points to 38.3 percent.
For the fiscal year as a whole, Helen of Troy’s net sales are expected to range between $1.325 billion and $1.375 billion. On June 30, the company closed on its acquisition of Healthy Directions, the manufacturer of doctor-branded vitamins, minerals and supplements. Also in June, Helen of Troy announced its license agreement with The Cookware Co. for a line of cookware branded under the Oxo Good Grips name.