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Helen Of Troy Reorganizes, Posts Q4 Results

As it announced its fourth quarter financial results that included an earnings slump, Helen of Troy Ltd. revealed changes in its executive suite following Julien Mininberg’s elevation to CEO. The company has reorganized its corporate departments and functions into three global shared service groups, each headed by a member of the executive leadership team, it stated.

The service groups are Global Finance, Global Operations and Global Legal, Human Resources and Investor Relations.

Helen of Troy expressed an expectation that the new organization would strengthen its operating platform into a best-in-class support system, increase productivity by better leveraging global scale and improve collaboration across businesses and departments worldwide.

To lead each service group, the company named:

  • Brian Grass CFO and head of Global Finance. He had been vp and assistant CFO.
  • Thomas Benson COO and head of Global Operations. He had been senior vp and CFO.
  • Vincent Carson Chief Legal, Human Resource and Investor Relations Officer and head of Global Legal, Human Resources and Investor Relations. He had been global general counsel.

“This reorganization is an important step in our strategy to transform the relationship between our El Paso operations, our market-facing business units around the world and our geographically distributed shared service facilities such as our warehouses, China operations and corporate departments such as Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology,” Mininberg said. “Consolidating our shared services under highly empowered executives with global responsibility is critical to enabling our business units to leverage more of our $1.3 billion footprint. We expect the shared service groups to be a key source of productivity improvements, best practices, simplification and standardization, compliance, reporting, and the key functions of a public company. With Helen of Troy more than tripling in size over the past 10 years, this reorganization should help elevate our operational platform, better positioning us for sustainable growth.”

For the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter, Helen of Troy posted net income of $11 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, versus $31.5 million, or 98 cents per diluted share, in the fiscal 2013 period. In the 2014 quarter, adjusted net income was $27.3 million, or 84 cents per fully diluted, noted.

Net sales were $312.5 million versus $326 million in the fiscal 2013 fourth quarter, and operating income was $16.7 million versus $39.7 million in the period last year, Helen of Troy related.

In the full fiscal year, Helen of Troy generated net income of $86.3 million, or $2.66 per fully diluted share, versus $115.7 million, or $3.62 per fully diluted share. Adjusted net income for fiscal 2014 was $114.6 million, or diluted earnings per share of $3.54, according to the company.

Net sales were $1.32 billion versus $1.29 billion in fiscal year 2013 and operating income was $117.1 million, including $12 million in non-cash asset impairment charges and $18.2 million of CEO succession costs, versus $148.8 million last year, the company maintained.

In the fiscal year, Helen of Troy reported housewares shares gained 6%, healthcare/home environment sales increased 5.5% and personal care sales slipped 3.3%. Sales in all three segments decreased in the fourth quarter with housewares off by 0.6%, healthcare/home environment off 2.7% and personal care off 8.2%

Still, Mininberg was positive about the full year’s performance.

“Fiscal 2014 was a year of good financial performance highlighted by net revenue growth of 2.2%, diluted earnings per share of $2.66 and adjusted diluted earnings per share of $3.54,” Mininberg asserted. “Three key priorities in my first year as CEO are to focus on transforming our organization, reinvigorating our culture and investing in our brands. A first step in that direction is our new global shared services management structure, announced today. Beyond the investments we are making in talent in fiscal 2015, we plan to invest in marketing and innovation on many of our brands, with a goal of accelerating growth and profitability in fiscal 2016 and beyond. In parallel, we will focus on evaluating acquisitions that complement our business and continue shareholder-friendly policies that optimize our capital structure. The most recent example being the completion of our $246 million share repurchase in March. I am pleased to announce that even with our planned investments, the mid-point of our outlook range is expected to deliver 23% growth in diluted earnings per share in fiscal year 2015 compared to adjusted diluted earnings per share in fiscal year 2014. We expect fiscal year 2015 revenues of $1.325 to $1.375 billion dollars. Our guidance does not include any acquisitions, asset impairment charges or additional share repurchase activity.”