Helen of Troy Limited Reports Substantial Increases in Third Quarter and Nine Months Net Earnings

Jan 11, 2010, 07:30 ET from Helen of Troy Limited

EL PASO, Texas, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Helen of Troy Limited (Nasdaq: HELE), designer, developer and worldwide marketer of brand-name personal care and household consumer products, today reported sales and net earnings for the third quarter ended November 30, 2009.

Third quarter net sales were $189,399,000 versus net sales of $185,619,000 in the same period of the prior year, an increase of 2.0 percent. Net sales for the nine months ended November 30, 2009 were $495,465,000 versus sales of $484,165,000 for the previous year, an increase of 2.3 percent.

Third quarter net earnings were $24,733,000, or $0.80 per fully diluted share, compared to $15,090,000 or $0.48 per fully diluted share for the same period a year earlier, an increase of 66.7 percent in earnings per fully diluted share. Net earnings for the nine months ended November 30, 2009 were $55,153,000 or $1.79 per fully diluted share versus $31,246,000, or $1.00 per fully diluted share for the same period a year earlier, an increase of 79.0 percent in earnings per fully diluted share.

Net sales in the Housewares segment (OXO) for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 increased $9,892,000, or 21.8 percent, to $55,193,000 compared with $45,301,000 for the same period last year. Net sales in the Housewares segment for the nine months ended November 30, 2009 increased $17,540,000, or 13.4 percent, to $148,447,000 compared with $130,907,000 for the same period last year. The OXO brand continues its growth into a diverse group of new and exciting areas. Recent OXO product introductions, especially in the dry and wet food storage categories, helped drive net sales growth in the third quarter.

Net sales in the Personal Care segment for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 decreased $6,112,000, or 4.4 percent, to $134,206,000 compared with $140,318,000 for the same period last year. Net sales in the Personal Care segment for the nine months ended November 30, 2009 decreased $6,240,000, or 1.8 percent, to $347,018,000 compared with $353,258,000 for the same period last year. The grooming, skin care, and hair care solutions category achieved net sales growth during the quarter, while hair care appliances and accessories net sales decreased during the period.

Gerald J. Rubin, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, commenting on the results for the quarter and the first nine months of the fiscal year stated, "We are very pleased with our substantially increased net operating results for the third quarter and nine months ended November 30, 2009, which we achieved in a very difficult retail sales environment. Our Housewares segment continues its unbroken record of sustained growth. Our Personal Care segment has been affected by the poor retail economy during 2009.

"Consolidated gross profit margin as a percentage of net sales for the fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2009 increased 4.5 percentage points to 44.1 percent compared to 39.6 percent for the same period last year. Consolidated gross profit margin as a percentage of net sales for the nine month period ended November 30, 2009 increased 0.9 percentage points to 42.6 percent compared to 41.7 percent for the same period last year.

"Selling, general, and administrative expense ("SG&A") as a percentage of net sales for the fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2009 decreased 0.5 percentage points to 28.3 percent compared to 28.8 percent for the same period last year. SG&A expense as a percentage of net sales for the nine months decreased 2.4 percentage points to 28.5 percent compared to 30.9 percent for the same period last year.

"As of November 30, 2009, Helen of Troy's balance sheet remains strong with shareholders' equity of $563,407,000. Inventories have decreased $41,967,000 or 24.4 percent to $129,757,000 at November 30, 2009 compared with $171,724,000 at November 30, 2008. Our cash and cash equivalents position as of November 30, 2009 was $58,960,000.

"We continue to review and adjust our business activities to address a slowly improving economic environment, while managing liquidity and continuing to control expenses. During this difficult period, we believe we are well positioned financially to continue to seek prudent opportunities to grow our business. We also continue our focus on expense reductions, while striving to increase sales and gross margins for the coming year. We believe that our consumer brand leadership positions in our market segments will be the basis for positioning our company for continued growth and success," Mr. Rubin concluded.

The Company will conduct a teleconference in conjunction with today's release. The teleconference begins at 11 a.m. ET today, Monday, January 11, 2010. Members of the news media, investors and the general public are invited to access a live broadcast of the conference call via the Investor Relations page of the Company's website at www.hotus.com. The event will be archived and available for replay through February 28, 2010.

Helen of Troy Limited is a leading designer, producer and global marketer of brand-name personal care and household consumer products. The Company's personal care products include hair dryers, curling irons, hair setters, shavers, brushes, combs, hair accessories, home hair clippers, mirrors, foot baths, body massagers, paraffin baths, liquid hair styling products, body powder and skin care products. The Company's household products include kitchen tools, cutlery, bar and wine accessories, household cleaning tools, tea kettles, trash cans, storage and organization products, gardening tools, kitchen mitts and trivets, barbeque tools, and rechargeable lighting products. The Company's products are sold to consumers by mass merchandisers, drug store chains, warehouse clubs and grocery stores under licensed trademarks including Vidal Sassoon®, licensed from The Procter & Gamble Company, Revlon®, licensed from Revlon Consumer Products Corporation, Dr. Scholl's®, licensed from Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc., Sunbeam®, and Health o meter® licensed from Sunbeam Products, Inc., Sea Breeze®, licensed from Shiseido Company Ltd., Vitapointe®, licensed from Sara Lee Household and Body Care UK Limited, Toni & Guy® outside of the Americas, licensed from Mascolo Limited, Bed Head® and TIGI® in the Americas licensed from MBL/TIGI Products, LP, and Toni&Guy® in the Americas licensed from MBL/TONI&GUY Products, LP. Helen of Troy's owned brands include OXO®, Good Grips®, Candela®, Brut®, Infusium 23®, Vitalis®, Final Net®, Ammens®, Condition® 3-in-1, SkinMilk®, Dazey®, Caruso®, Karina®, DCNL®, Nandi®, Isobel® and Ogilvie®. The Company markets hair and beauty care products under the Helen of Troy®, Hot Tools®, Hot Spa®, Salon Edition®, Gallery Series®, Wigo®, Fusion Tools®,( ) Belson®, Belson Pro®, Gold 'N Hot®, Curlmaster®, Profiles®, Comare®, Mega Hot®, and Shear Technology® owned brands to the professional beauty salon industry.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to change. The forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any or all of the forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many of these factors will be important in determining the Company's actual future results. Consequently, no forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Actual future results may vary materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by a number of risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical or anticipated results. Generally, the words "anticipates", "estimates", "believes", "expects", plans", "may", "will", "should", "seeks", "project", "predict", "potential", "continue", "intends" and other similar words identify forward-looking statements. The Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company intends its forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time of such statements, and does not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release should be read in conjunction with, and are subject to and qualified by, the risks described in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended February 28, 2009 and in our other filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to refer to the risk factors referred to above for a description of these risks. Such risks include, among others, the departure and recruitment of key personnel, the Company's ability to deliver products to our customers in a timely manner, requirements to accurately project product demand and orders of customers, the Company's relationship with key customers and licensors, the costs of complying with the business demands and requirements of large sophisticated customers, the Company's dependence on foreign sources of supply and foreign manufacturing, impact of changing costs of raw materials, energy and operations, the inability to liquidate auction rate securities, circumstances which may contribute to future impairment of goodwill, intangible or other long-lived assets, the Company's ability to develop and introduce innovative new products to meet changing consumer preferences, disruptions in U.S. and international credit markets, exchange rate risks, expectations regarding acquisitions and the integration of acquired businesses, the Company's use of debt and the constraints it may impose, the risks associated with tax audits, and disputes with taxing authorities, potential changes in laws, including tax laws, the Company's ability to continue to avoid classification as a controlled foreign corporation, the Company's dependence on the strength of retail economies, the impact of a prolonged recession, and the highly subjective nature of projections of sales and earnings and the fact that future sales and earnings could vary in a material amount from the Company's projections


                         HELEN OF TROY LIMITED AND SUBSIDIARIES
                      Consolidated Condensed Statements of Operations
                                      (unaudited)
                         (in thousands, except per share data)

                                       For the Three Months Ended
                                              November 30,
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                        2009                  2008
                                 -----------------     -----------------
    Net sales                    $189,399   100.0%     $185,619   100.0%
    Cost of sales                 105,877    55.9%      112,075    60.4%
                                  -------    ----       -------    ----
         Gross profit              83,522    44.1%       73,544    39.6%

    Selling, general and
     administrative
     expense                       53,658    28.3%       53,543    28.8%
                                   ------    ----        ------    ----
         Operating income
          before impairment
          charges                  29,864    15.8%       20,001    10.8%
                                   ------    ----        ------    ----

    Impairment charges                  -     0.0%            -     0.0%
                                      ---     ---           ---     ---
         Operating income          29,864    15.8%       20,001    10.8%
                                   ------    ----        ------    ----

    Other income (expense):
         Interest expense          (2,146)   -1.1%       (3,380)   -1.8%
         Other income, net            125     0.1%          575     0.3%
                                      ---     ---           ---     ---
         Total other income
          (expense)                (2,021)   -1.1%       (2,805)   -1.5%
                                   ------    ----        ------    ----
         Earnings before income
          taxes                    27,843    14.7%       17,196     9.3%

    Income tax expense              3,110     1.6%        2,106     1.1%
                                    -----     ---         -----     ---
    Net earnings                  $24,733    13.1%      $15,090     8.1%
                                  =======    ====       =======     ===


    Diluted earnings per
     share                          $0.80                 $0.48

    Weighted average
     common shares used in
     computing diluted
     earnings per share            31,047                31,229


                                       For the Nine Months Ended
                                              November 30,
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                       2009                  2008
                                 -----------------     -----------------
    Net sales                    $495,465   100.0%     $484,165   100.0%
    Cost of sales                 284,540    57.4%      282,456    58.3%
                                  -------    ----       -------    ----
         Gross profit             210,925    42.6%      201,709    41.7%

    Selling, general and
     administrative expense       141,230    28.5%      149,428    30.9%
                                  -------    ----       -------    ----
         Operating income before
          impairment charges       69,695    14.1%       52,281    10.8%
                                   ------    ----        ------    ----

    Impairment charges                900     0.2%        7,760     1.6%
                                      ---     ---         -----     ---
         Operating income          68,795    13.9%       44,521     9.2%
                                   ------    ----        ------     ---

    Other income (expense):
         Interest expense          (8,192)   -1.7%      (10,317)   -2.1%
         Other income, net            927     0.2%        2,244     0.5%
                                      ---     ---         -----     ---
         Total other income
          (expense)                (7,265)   -1.5%       (8,073)   -1.7%
                                   ------    ----        ------    ----
         Earnings before income
          taxes                    61,530    12.4%       36,448     7.5%

    Income tax expense              6,377     1.3%        5,202     1.1%
                                    -----     ---         -----     ---
    Net earnings                  $55,153    11.1%      $31,246     6.5%
                                  =======    ====       =======     ===


    Diluted earnings per
     share                          $1.79                 $1.00

    Weighted average common
     shares used in computing
     diluted earnings per
     share                         30,848                31,162

               HELEN OF TROY LIMITED AND SUBSIDIARIES

          Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Information
                            (unaudited)
                           (in thousands)

                                          11/30/2009   11/30/2008
                                          ----------   ----------

    Cash, cash equivalents and trading
     securities                              $58,960      $87,978

    Accounts receivable, principally
     trade                                   144,831      142,891

    Inventories                              129,757      171,724

    Total current assets                     351,697      422,779

    Long-term investments                     20,294       20,048

    Total assets                             826,169      948,734

    Total current liabilities                117,812      200,552

    Total long-term liabilities              144,950      149,573

    Shareholders' equity                     563,407      598,609


    SELECTED OTHER DATA (in thousands)
    Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure - EBITDA
     (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and
     Amortization) to Net Earnings

                                   Three Months Ended     Nine Months Ended
                                      November 30,           November 30,
                                     --------------        ----------------
                                     2009      2008        2009        2008
                                     ----      ----        ----        ----


    Net earnings                    $24,733   $15,090     $55,153     $31,246

    Interest income / Expense, net    2,041     2,688       7,766       7,931

    Income tax expense                3,110     2,106       6,377       5,202

    Depreciation and
     amortization                     3,503     3,534      11,436      10,604
                                      -----     -----      ------      ------

    EBITDA (Earnings
     before interest,
     taxes, depreciation
     and amortization)              $33,387   $23,418     $80,732     $54,983
                                    =======   =======     =======     =======


    EBITDA before impairment
     charges, share-based
     compensation, charge to
     allowance for doubtful
     accounts and gain on
     casualty insurance
     settlements

    EBITDA, as calculated
     above                          $33,387   $23,418     $80,732     $54,983

      Add: Impairment charges             -         -         900       7,760
           Share-based compensation     433       377       1,264       1,037
           Charge to allowance
            for doubtful accounts         -         -           -       3,876
      Less: Gain on casualty
             insurance
             settlements                  -         -           -      (2,702)
                                        ---       ---         ---      ------

    EBITDA before impairment
     charges, share-based
     compensation, charge to
     allowance for doubtful accounts
     and gain on casualty insurance
     settlements                    $33,820   $23,795     $82,896     $64,954
                                    =======   =======     =======     =======

    SELECTED OTHER DATA (in thousands, except per share data)
    Reconciliation of Net Earnings, as reported to non-GAAP Earnings without
     Significant Items

                                       For the Three Months Ended November 30,
                                       --------------------------------------
                                              2009                2008
                                       -----------------    -----------------
                                                 Diluted              Diluted
                                                   EPS                   EPS
                                       ----------------     -----------------

    Net earnings, as reported          $24,733    $0.80     $15,090     $0.48

    Add:    Impairment loss, net of
             tax                             -        -           -         -

            Charge to allowance for
             doubtful accounts, net of
             tax                             -        -           -         -

    Less:   Gain on casualty
             insurance settlements,
             net of  tax                     -        -           -         -

            Tax benefit of IRS
             settlement, including
             reversal of penalties           -        -        (461)    (0.01)
                                           ---      ---        ----       ---

    Earnings, without
     significant items                 $24,733    $0.80     $14,629     $0.47
                                       =======    =====     =======     =====


    Weighted average common
     shares used in computing
     diluted earnings per share         31,047               31,229


                                       For the Nine Months Ended November 30,
                                       --------------------------------------
                                              2009                2008
                                       -----------------    -----------------
                                                 Diluted              Diluted
                                                   EPS                   EPS
                                       ----------------     -----------------

    Net earnings, as reported          $55,153    $1.79     $31,246     $1.00

    Add:    Impairment loss, net of
             tax                             -        -       7,605      0.24

            Charge to allowance for
             doubtful accounts, net
             of tax                          -        -       2,516      0.08

    Less:   Gain on casualty insurance
             settlements, net of  tax        -        -      (2,635)    (0.08)

            Tax benefit of IRS settlement,
             including reversal of
             penalties                       -        -        (461)    (0.01)
                                           ---      ---        ----       ---

    Earnings, without significant
     items                             $55,153    $1.79     $38,271     $1.23
                                       =======    =====     =======     =====


    Weighted average common shares
     used in computing diluted
     earnings per share                 30,848               31,162

The above tables report non-GAAP measures. The Company believes earnings without the impact of significant items, EBITDA and EBITDA before impairment charges, share-based compensation, charge to allowance for doubtful accounts, and gain on casualty insurance settlements as shown in the preceding tables are non-GAAP financial information as contemplated by SEC Regulation G, Rule 100. Accordingly, we are providing the preceding tables that reconcile these measures to their corresponding GAAP-based measures presented in our Consolidated Condensed Statements of Income, which are included in the accompanying press release. The Company believes that these non-GAAP measures provide useful information to management and investors regarding financial and business trends relating to its financial condition and results of operations. The Company believes that these non-GAAP measures, in combination with the Company's financial results calculated in accordance with GAAP, provides investors with additional perspective. The Company also believes that these non-GAAP measures provided by the Company facilitate a more direct comparison of its performance with its competitors. The Company further believes that the excluded significant items do not accurately reflect the underlying performance of its continuing operations for the period in which they are incurred, even though some of these excluded items may be incurred and reflected in the Company's GAAP financial results in the foreseeable future. The material limitation associated with the use of the non-GAAP financial measures is that the non-GAAP measures do not reflect the full economic impact of the Company's activities. These non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with GAAP, are not an alternative to GAAP financial information, and may be calculated differently than non-GAAP financial information disclosed by other companies. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on non-GAAP information.

SOURCE Helen of Troy Limited



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