EL PASO, Texas-Helen of Troy registered new records for both its bottom and top lines for its fourth quarter and fiscal year, and achieved a milestone by topping $1 billion in annual sales for the first time.
Net income for the fourth quarter, which ended on Feb. 29, rose 20 percent to $29.3 million, while for the fiscal year, net income jumped 18 percent to $110.4 million. Net sales for the quarter increased 24 percent to $294 million, and gained 52 percent for the fiscal year, to $1.2 billion.
The sales gains came primarily from the health-care/home-environment segment, which encompasses the Kaz health/home-environment product line and PUR water-filtration business and which reported a fourth-quarter sales rise of 81 percent. Helen of Troy acquired Kaz early in 2011, and purchased PUR from Procter & Gamble in December of last year. Fourth-quarter sales in the housewares segment rose 9 percent, while for the personal-care segment sales decreased 3.3 percent.
For the fiscal year, the health-care/home environment sector tacked on $448 million to the total. Housewares sales rose 9.6 percent, and personal-care sales increased 1.1 percent.
In the fourth quarter, gross margin fell 190 basis points to 41.9 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 20 percent in dollars, but dropped 110 basis points as a percentage of sales to 29.4 percent.
Gerald Rubin, Helen of Troy’s chairman, president and CEO, said the company now expects net sales in the new fiscal year to reach from $1.3 billion to $1.325 billion. “We continue to make progress in achieving our long-term, strategic business objectives, despite the numerous challenges of a very difficult retail environment for several of our businesses,” Rubin said.