Third-Quarter Net Up 9.4 Percent for Helen of Troy



EL PASO, Texas—Rising sales and improved gross margin helped Helen of Troy to a 9.4 percent gain in net income for its fiscal third quarter, which ended Nov. 30.

The bottom line totaled $27.1 million, while net sales increased 8.2 percent to $205 million. The company’s personal-care segment increased its sales 9.2 percent in the quarter, while the housewares segment saw its sales rise 6 percent. Gross margin picked up 100 basis points to finish the quarter at 45.2 percent.

Gerald Rubin, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said Helen of Troy achieved its third-quarter sales and bottom-line growth “in a continuingly difficult retail sales environment.” Rubin said the personal-care sector’s sales were helped from its acquisition of the Pert Plus hair-care and Sure deodorant brands, while sales of dry- and wet-food storage products provided a boost to the housewares segment.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 14 percent on a dollar basis and added on 160 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 29.9 percent.

On Dec. 31, Helen of Troy closed its acquisition of Kaz, expanding its product line to include health-care products and air-treatment products. Rubin said this purchase is expected to add $400 million to the company’s annual revenue.