For its fourth quarter, Helen of Troy reported a net sales increase led by the company’s housewares, health and home divisions, although its beauty division showed a slight decline.
In the fourth quarter, which ended February 29, net sales revenue increased 2.1% to $385.7 million compared to $377.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015. Net income was $9.6 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to $40.6 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015.
The company’s health and home segment rose 1.5%, driven by successful new product introductions, the VapoSteam acquisition, strong sales of water filtration products and fans, partially offset by the impact of a below average cold and flu season and a negative impact of approximately $2.4 million, or 1.4% from foreign currency fluctuations.
The company’s housewares segment reported increased sales by 6.7%, building on growth of 11.9% in the same period last year. This was primarily due to fiscal year 2016 new product introductions including Oxo’s kitchen electrics and metal bakeware.
The beauty segment reported a decrease of 0.3% including a negative impact of approximately $2 million, or 2%, from foreign currency fluctuations. Gains from new product introductions were partially offset by a decline in the personal care category due to competitive pressures and some lost distribution. The company said it expects similar challenges in personal care in fiscal year 2017.
For its full fiscal year 2016, the company reported net sales revenue increased 7% to $1.5 billion compared to $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2015. Net income was $101.2 million, or $3.52 per diluted share, compared to $131 million in the previous fiscal year.
Julien Mininberg, CEO, Helen of Troy, stated, “We ended the year strongly, delivering fourth quarter results ahead of expectations, reflecting the continued successful execution of our seven key strategic priorities. During the quarter, net sales grew 2.1%, despite foreign currency headwinds of approximately 1.2%. Growth was led by our housewares segment, which benefitted from new category introductions. Our nutritional supplements segment grew 2.3%, fueled by growth in its customer continuity program and new specialty products as additional doctors joined the team. Health and home grew sales 1.5% despite the impact of a below average cold and flu season and a foreign currency drag of approximately 1.4%. The increase was largely driven by growth in water purification from higher consumer awareness of water quality issues and better branded communication of the benefits of Pur’s filtration products. We continue to see signs of stabilization in our beauty segment, which achieved net sales slightly below the prior year period primarily due to the negative impact of foreign currency fluctuations and declines in the personal care category, partially offset by the benefits from new product introductions, improving our fundamentals, and the impact of hyperinflation in Venezuela.”
Mininberg added, “Our fourth quarter results round out our second year of significant strides towards our multi-year objective of accelerating sales and gaining efficiencies to drive long-term profitable growth. We achieved consolidated sales growth of 7% and core business sales growth of 2.8%, despite a foreign currency drag of approximately 2.1%. While we have more work to do in our efforts to stabilize our beauty business, I am encouraged that we achieved sales growth of 0.9% in that segment on a full year basis. Although we see some challenges ahead as we navigate the uncertain retail and macroeconomic environment, we believe that continuing to execute our transformation strategy will allow us to fully leverage our strong portfolio of brands, our management talent and our solid cash flow to deliver shareholder value in fiscal year 2017.”