EL PASO, Texas–A monumental 70 percent increase in net sales firmed Helen of Troy’s net income by 34 percent in its fiscal first quarter, to a record $24.6 million. That pickup brought the personal-care giant’s net sales to $271.5 million. In its statement reviewing the quarter, Helen of Troy said the sales jump occurred primarily because of its acquisition of Kaz, the vendor of health-care and home-environment products, which closed on Dec. 31.
The acquisition brought an additional $95.8 million to the company’s top line in the quarter. Meanwhile, sales in Helen of Troy’s housewares segment increased 10.5 percent, while sales in its personal-care sector rose 9.3 percent.
The sales gain also trumped a 470 basis-point drop in the company’s gross margin, which finished the quarter at 40.5 percent. And while selling, general and administrative expenses rose 61 percent, they decreased 150 basis points as a percentage of sales to 29.2 percent.
Gerald Rubin, chairman, president and CEO of Helen of Troy, said all of the company’s operating segments executed well in the quarter. Rubin said the company is on course with its strategic plan for this fiscal year, key elements of which include continued investment in new-product development, especially in the Oxo line; initiatives to partially offset expected increases in commodity and in-bound transportation costs; productivity initiatives to reduce operating expenses; and pursuit of more acquisitions of complementary businesses and product lines.
“As a leader in our product categories to our retail partners, we believe we are well positioned to achieve record net sales revenue and record net income for Helen of Troy in fiscal 2012,” Rubin said.