Lifetime Brands Q1 Hit By Port Slowdown, Weakness In Europe

Lifetime Brands posted results for its fiscal first quarter ended March 31, 2015. Net loss was $2.1 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, improving from $2.9 million, or $0.22 per diluted share in the corresponding period in 2014. The company also posted consolidated net sales of $117.7 million for the first quarter, slightly down compared with $118.4 million in the corresponding period in 2014.

Net sales in the first quarter were affected by the West Coast dockworkers slowdown, which prevented some shipments from reaching our distribution center in Fontana, California, by shifts in the timing of certain warehouse club promotions and by translation losses resulting from a weaker GBP/USD exchange rate,” said Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime’s chairman and CEO.

Excluding the effects of the dock slowdown and the weakness of the British pound, net sales for the quarter would have increased by approximately 2.7% over the same period in 2014, Siegel commented.

“Our retailer partners generally are showing confidence in a strong holiday selling season, which we see reflected in strong bookings and placements for products to be delivered later this year,” Siegel noted. As such, the company has reaffirmed its forecast that net sales are likely to increase by 3% to 6% for the full 2015 fiscal year, and operating margin to be in the range of 4.5 to 5.5%.

When broken down by category, Lifetime Brands noted that kitchenware net sales totaled $54.6 million for the three months, an increase of $2.7 million, or 5.2% as compared to the $51.9 million for the corresponding period in 2014. The company noted that this is a reflection in the strength of tools and gadgets and an improvement for cookware.

For tableware, the category saw $19.3 million in net sales for the three months, a decrease of $4 million, or 17.2% as compared to $23.3 million for the corresponding period in 2014. The company noted that the decrease was due to the timing of warehouse club programs in the current year.

For the company’s home solutions, net sales were $12.6 million for the three months, an increase of $2.1 million, or 20%, as compared to $10.5 million for the corresponding period last year. The increase is attributed to inclusion of Built NY, acquired in the first quarter of 2014, as well as successful new Pantryware programs, the company said. 

For the international segment, net sales were $25.4 million for the three months, a decrease of $2.7 million, as compared to net sales of $28.1 million for the corresponding period in 2014. In local currency, net sales decreased approximately 1.0%, due in part to a decline in export sales of kitchenware products as a result of the weakness in the European economy, the company noted.

For its retail direct segment, net sales were $5.8 million for the quarter, an increase of $1.2 million, as compared to net sales of $4.6 million for the corresponding period in 2014. The increase was attributed to a rise in sales from the Mikasa.com site.