GARDEN CITY, N.Y.–A strong gain in net sales and what Jeff Siegel, chairman and chief executive officer, called “cost containment” helped push Lifetime Brands’ net income by 176 percent in the fourth quarter, to $13.9 million.
Net sales for the housewares and home-decor vendor rose 11.4 percent to $142.6 million in the quarter, which ended on Dec. 31. Selling, general and administrative expenses were trimmed by 2.2 percent on a dollar basis, and were cut by 257 basis points, to 18.6 percent, as a percentage of sales. Fourth-quarter gross margin was off 181 basis points to 38.2 percent.
The fourth-quarter bottom-line increase included non-cash income and an extraordinary gain, and did not include a charge for restructuring activities and a tax benefit for losses that were present in the fourth quarter of 2009. Without these factors, Lifetime Brands’ fourth-quarter net totaled $8.1 million, up 59 percent over the prior year.
Those same adjustments produced a 646 percent increase in the company’s profit for the full fiscal year, which reached $20.3 million. Absent these factors, net income for 2010 increased 189 percent to $15 million. Net sales for the year finished at $443.2 million, up 6.8 percent.
Siegel said, “We achieved these results through careful execution of our strategy during an uncertain and challenging period for the global economy.”