Leading consumer products company Helen of Troy saw solid growth in all its business segments during the second quarter, which led to record sales of its stable of well known brands, but stagnant profits.
Sales increased 11.1% to $319 million during the quarter ended August 31, but profits were essentially flat at $23.3 million, or 72 cents a share, compared to $23 million, or 72 cents a share. Gross margins declined to 38.6% from 40.7% the prior year while expenses as a percent of sales declined to 29.1% from 30%.
“The period saw particular strength in our Healthcare/Home Environment segment, which produced a 20.4% increase in revenue benefiting from our refined promotion and marketing strategy and favorable weather conditions in Europe,” said Gerald J. Rubin, Helen of Troy chairman, president and CEO. “Innovation in product and design continues to be a positive driver for our Housewares segment leading to increases in shelf space, assortment expansion and new distribution. Finally, our Personal Care segment benefited from a new product distribution arrangement in Europe specific to the current fiscal year and increased sales in our professional appliance business.”
The company also noted that during the first week of September it began operations at a new 1.3 million square foot distribution facility in Mississippi.
Helen of Troy offers products in the housewares, healthcare/home environment and personal care segment under brand names such as OXO, Good Grips, Soft Works, Vicks, Braun, Honeywell, PUR, Febreze, Stinger, Duracraft, SoftHeat, Revlon®, Vidal Sassoon, Dr. Scholl's, Pert, Brut and Bed Head. The company has licensing arrangement with global consumer companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Revlon and Honeywell.