Helen of Troy gained momentum with its Project Refuel strategies, reporting net sales growth for its fiscal first quarter led by its health and home and housewares segments.
The company reported a consolidated net sales revenue increase of 9% to $354.7 million, compared to $325.5 million in the same period last year, which includes a core business increase of 7.9% primarily due to growth in international sales, new product introductions, an increase in domestic brick and mortar sales and strong growth in online sales.
Operating income was $43.3 million compared to $30.6 million in the same period last year. Income from continuing operations was $38.2 million, or $1.43 per diluted share, compared to $27.3 million, or $1.00 per diluted share.
Housewares net sales increased by 18.9% reflecting incremental distribution with existing domestic customers, an increase in online sales, new product introductions for both the Hydro Flask and Oxo brands, an increase in sales into the club channel, an acceleration of Hydro Flask orders by retailers in advance of the Hydro Flask integration into the Helen of Troy ERP system and international growth. Health and home net sales increased 10.2% reflecting expanded international distribution and higher online sales.
Beauty net sales decreased 5.8% primarily reflecting a decline in brick and mortar, which more than offset continued momentum in the online channel. Segment net sales were also impacted by the unfavorable comparison from the retail fill-in of new product introductions in the same period last year, as well as the impact from the rationalization of certain brands and products.
“We continue to see excellent momentum in the business, which led to a strong performance and a great start to our new fiscal year. Our strategic choices and ongoing productivity enhancements from the transformation plan are generating healthy results. Investing in our leadership brands, our infrastructure and our people continues to pay off. Our leadership brands grew 14.7% and our digital initiatives contributed to online sales growth of 30% in the quarter,” said Julien Mininberg, chief executive officer, Helen of Troy. “To continue improving our shared services, Project Refuel has now expanded to include the realignment and streamlining of our supply chain structure, which we believe will help mitigate potential cost headwinds in the remainder of this fiscal year and further strengthen our profitability longer term. Our strategies are working and we remain confident in our ability to deliver growth and long-term shareholder value.”