EL PASO, Texas–Helen of Troy broke its previous marks for net income and net sales in its fiscal first quarter.
The company’s bottom line totaled $18.4 million, up 26.7 percent from the first quarter of last year, while net sales increased 11.3 percent to $160.2 million. The top-line results included a gain of 10.9 percent in sales from Helen of Troy’s personal-care segment and a pickup of 12.3 percent in sales from its housewares segment.
The company’s results received a major boost from a 450 basis-point jump in gross margin, which finished the quarter at 45.2 percent. This and the gain in net sales helped offset a 25.1 percent increase in selling, general and administrative expenses.
Gerald Rubin, Helen of Troy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the first quarter “lays a solid foundation for the current year.” Rubin said the company would pursue its strategic plan for fiscal 2011 in a challenging economic environment, the components of which include growth and expansion of its Oxo product lines, continued investment in new product development and innovation, cost-management initiatives, productivity initiatives and additional acquisitions.