GARDEN CITY, N.Y.-Reduced sales, acquisition-related expenses and a larger provision for income taxes cut deeply into Lifetime Brands’ bottom line for its fourth quarter, which ended on Dec. 31.
Fourth-quarter net dropped 61 percent to $5.4 million, bringing net income for the fiscal year to $14.1 million or 31 percent less than in the prior year. Net sales in the quarter slipped 3.5 percent to $137.6 million. For all of 2011, net sales were $444.4 million, up 0.3 percent from the previous year.
Jeff Siegel, Lifetime’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “Consumer demand for non-essential categories, especially home decor, declined in 2011, as low- and middle-income consumers had little left over after spending on food, clothing, gasoline and other necessities.” Siegel added that the company’s kitchenware and tabletop sectors, which together represent about 80 percent of Lifetime’s total net sales, “achieved solid, profitable growth” in 2011, rising by 7.6 percent. The company’s other wholesale businesses experienced a 22 percent falloff in sales.
Gross margin declined 139 basis points in the quarter, to 36.8 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 3.6 percent in dollars and 138 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 19.9 percent.