The current market environment produced overall higher demand for Helen of Troy’s housewares, health and home and beauty products, as the company posted a strong first quarter.
Consolidated net sales revenue in the first quarter ended May 31 increased 11.8% to $420.8 million compared to $376.3 million, primarily reflecting growth in domestic brick and mortar and international sales in its Health and Home segment, and consolidated online sales.
Net income was $60.3 million, or $2.37 per diluted share compared to $40.7 million, or $1.61 per diluted share in the previous first quarter.
By segment, Housewares net sales revenue decreased by 3% to $140.6 million primarily due to the temporary closure of key domestic brick and mortar customers due to COVID-19, and a decrease in international sales. The Oxo brand grew as consumers spent more time at home cooking, cleaning, organizing and pantry loading. Growth in online sales and in stores that were open were strong, as were Hydro Flask international sales.
Health and Home segment net sales revenue increased 29.1% to $199.9 million primarily driven by a COVID-related demand surge for health care and healthy living products in domestic and international markets, in both brick and mortar and online channels. The impact of brick and mortar store closures was less pronounced in the Health and Home segment as key retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Target, Home Depot and the drug store channel remained open during the quarter and generally experienced strong traffic.
Beauty net sales revenue increased 5% to $80.2 million, driven primarily by the net sales revenue contribution of $7.6 million from the Drybar Products acquisition, growth in online sales and new product introductions.
Julien Mininberg, Helen of Troy CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce excellent first quarter results. Our diversified portfolio performed well and again demonstrated its resiliency. I could not be prouder of how our organization adapted quickly to navigate successfully in what is arguably the most challenging business environment most of us have ever seen. During the quarter we delivered consolidated net sales growth of 11.8% and adjusted diluted EPS growth of 22.8%. Our Health & Home segment led the way with sales growth of 29%. Beauty and Housewares both held up very well in the face of many store closures and the unprecedented level of unemployment and personal disruption due to COVID-19. Beauty sales grew 5% including Drybar. Housewares declined only 3% off of a year ago base that grew 23% year over year. International performance was a standout in the quarter, growing faster than consolidated sales. Sales for our leadership brands grew 15.7%. Online sales grew significantly to now represent approximately 28% of consolidated sales as so many of the world’s consumers shifted more of their purchases from bricks to clicks.”
Mininberg added, “While we are pleased with our first quarter results, the net impact of the pandemic on our consumers and supply is still very fluid and uncertain and, as a result, we will not be providing fiscal 2021 guidance at this time. Despite the uncertainty, we are generally encouraged by the current trends and prospects for our business and are therefore using the strength from the first quarter to lean back in on many of the key initiatives chosen to further help us deliver on our Phase II Transformation goals. We believe we have struck the right balance between the uncertainties of the external environment and our strong commitment to doing what is bold and right for executing the strategic choices underlying our multi-year trajectory of transformation.”