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Alpha-Hydroxy Treatment Sales Fuel Beauticontrol Quarter Results

DALLAS -- BeautiControl Cosmetics reported that fourth-quarter earnings, driven by strong sales of a new alpha-hydroxy acid-based treatment product, soared to $837,380, or 12 cents a share, from $96,819, or 1 cent, a year ago.<BR><BR>Sales for the...

DALLAS — BeautiControl Cosmetics reported that fourth-quarter earnings, driven by strong sales of a new alpha-hydroxy acid-based treatment product, soared to $837,380, or 12 cents a share, from $96,819, or 1 cent, a year ago.

Sales for the quarter ended Nov. 30 rose 23 percent to $17.2 million, from $14 million. A spokeswoman for the direct sales company, based in Dallas, said the Regeneration line of alpha-hydroxy products accounted for 14 percent of sales in the quarter.

Richard W. Heath, president and chief executive officer, said the strongest performance was by Regeneration for women, items for the face and body that were introduced in August.

Regeneration for men was launched in November.

Fourth-quarter results were also boosted by a 16 percent increase in the number of direct-sales consultants, Heath said. The spokeswoman said the number of consultants, now 37,728, are expected to increase at least another 16 percent next year.

Despite the strong fourth quarter, BeautiControl’s earnings for the year declined 36.3 percent, to $3.1 million, or 44 cents, from $4.9 million, or 65 cents.

The spokeswoman said the firm spent about $1 million in the first six months testing an infomercial aimed at recruiting door-to-door sales reps. The expenditure brought per-share earnings down by 9 or 10 cents for the year. She added that in the first half, the company did not introduce any products.

Sales for the year rose 6.3 percent to $63.9 million from $60.1 million.