As it continued to implement its Project Refuel strategy to streamline the business, Helen of Troy reported fourth quarter sales growth driven by its health and home and housewares divisions.
Helen of Troy reported consolidated net sales revenue increased 12.5% to $390.8 million for the three-month period ended February 28, 2018, compared to $347.4 million in the same period last year. The net sales increase includes the contribution from new product introductions, online customer growth, incremental distribution and growth in international sales.
Income from continuing operations was $8.4 million, or $0.31 per diluted share compared to $34.4 million, or $1.25 per diluted share in last year’s fourth quarter. Income includes after-tax non-cash asset impairment charges of $10.3 million, a one-time tax reform charge of $17.9 million, and after-tax restructuring charges of $0.7 million.
Housewares division net sales increased by 13.4%, reflecting an increase in online channel sales, incremental distribution with existing customers, expanded domestic distribution, international growth and new product introductions for both Hydro Flask and Oxo brands, the company said.
The company’s Health & Home division net sales increased 19.4%, reflecting growth in online channel sales, expanded international distribution and incremental distribution with existing customers. Sales were favorably impacted by unseasonably cold fall and winter weather, and significantly higher cough/cold/flu incidence compared to the same period last year.
Beauty division net sales decreased 2.1% primarily reflecting a decline in brick and mortar, which offset solid growth in the online channel. Segment net sales benefitted from the favorable impact of net foreign currency fluctuations of approximately $0.9 million, or 1.1%.
Julien Mininberg, chief executive officer, Helen of Troy, said, ““I am very pleased with our results in the fourth quarter, which rounded out a particularly strong fiscal year performance, marking our fourth consecutive year of executing well against our transformational strategy. For the fiscal year, we grew net sales 5.9%, increased adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations by 11.6%, and generated a free cash flow yield of 8.9%, based on our current market capitalization. We improved our return on invested capital with strong income growth and the divestiture of Healthy Directions. Adhering to our strategies, we invested in our core to grow our leadership brands, made further efficiency gains in our shared services, initiated Project Refuel to streamline the business, opportunistically repurchased stock and paid down debt. As I look to fiscal 2019, we are pleased to provide an outlook that reflects continued top and bottom line growth on top of a strong fiscal 2018, even as our industry faces challenges including rising commodity costs and a fast-changing retail landscape. I am very excited about our future prospects.”