By  on November 2, 2007

Elizabeth Arden Inc. delivered sales growth of nearly 7 percent in the first quarter, and inked a licensing deal with Rocawear, the clothing label founded by hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.

Carter sold the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group Inc. in April, but remains involved in the business, and is expected to be the guiding force in the fragrance creation, said Arden’s president and chief executive officer E. Scott Beattie during the firm’s earnings call Friday.

The beauty firm's earnings went from red to black in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a year-ago loss. The company earned $350,000, or a penny a diluted share, compared to a loss of $1.3 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding charges related to restructuring of Arden’s European operations, net earnings were $1.1 million. Sales gained 6.7 percent to $271.8 million, from $254.8 million a year ago, driven by the introduction of the M by Mariah Carey fragrance this fall and the growth of the Elizabeth Arden brand in international markets. Beattie noted that international sales account for 65 percent of the Elizabeth Arden brand's business. For more, see Monday's issue of WWD.

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