SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass.-Yankee Candle Co. reported a net loss of $3.5 million in its fiscal first quarter ending on March 31, compared to a net loss of $5.3 million in its first quarter of 2011.
The bottom line received a boost from a net sales gain of 7.6 percent, which pushed sales to $155.1 million. Harlan Kent, Yankee Candle’s CEO, said the company enjoyed “solid revenue growth” from all of its businesses. Ken cited sales increases in the company’s consumer-direct, fundraising, wholesale and international sectors.
Sales in Yankee Candle’s retail segment rose 8.3 percent in the quarter, while sales in the wholesale segment gained 5.7 percent. International sales jumped 9.3 percent.
Gross margin dropped 96 basis points to finish the quarter at 54 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses edged up 1 percent in dollars but were reduced 304 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 46.7 percent.
Kent said Yankee Candle is focusing on maintaining the momentum from its business into the second quarter, which is usually the lowest-volume quarter of the company’s fiscal year. “We will also continue to drive supply-chain productivity, tightly manage our cost structure and work to optimize our cash flow and working capital as we prepare for the higher-volume second half of the year,” he said.