Denise Austin in Deal for Skin Care Line

NEW YORK — Health and fitness guru Denise Austin has signed a licensing agreement with health and beauty aids company CCA Industries to launch a skin care line targeting aging and damaged skin, under the Denise Austin Skin Fit for Life brand.

The six-item line, to launch in January to the mass market, will target Austin’s core audience, which consists of 18- to 49-year-old women. While the line is still under development, Ira Berman, CCA’s chairman, said green tea will be its key ingredient.

CCA, which makes Plus+White toothpaste, Bikini Zone medicated cream and Solar Sense sun care products, has not yet met with retailers to discuss the line, but it has contacted several of its key accounts to discuss preliminary plans, Berman said.

The East Rutherford, N.J.-based company has tapped Dr. Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist at the Medical College of Georgia who is considered an expert on the effects of green tea, to formulate the line. In conjunction with CCA, Hsu has formulated a proprietary formula to stimulate cell growth, slow the appearance of aging and help reduce wrinkles, Berman said.

While it’s too early to disclose specific details about the products, CCA estimates they will be priced between $9 and $15.

On May 31, CCA, a publicly traded company, posted first-half sales of $31.4 million, up 4.3 percent versus the previous year.

Austin, 47, has sold more than 20 million copies of her exercise videos, which are sold at mass retailers such as Wal-Mart. She has also authored fitness books, and she appears daily on Lifetime Network’s “Denise Austin’s Daily Workout.” In 2002, Austin was appointed by President Bush to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Berman said Austin’s following is very loyal, since she is “very credible.” Berman expects Austin to endorse the new skin care line in print ads and by making public appearances. — Andrea Nagel

Henkel Sales Rise 15.9%

BERLIN — The acquisition of Dial buoyed Henkel Group’s second-quarter sales and earnings.Group sales for the quarter, which reflect the consolidation of Dial, rose a nominal 15.9 percent to 2.76 billion euros, or $3.33 billion. This represents a gain of 19.2 percent when adjusted for currency effects. The Düsseldorf-based group’s organic growth rate, when “adjusted for foreign exchange and acquisitions/divestments,” the company said, was 1.7 percent. All dollar figures are calculated from the euro at average exchange rates.

Group earnings before interest and taxes for the quarter gained 10.4 percent to 198 million euros, or $238.6 million. Adjusted for foreign exchange, EBIT improved 14 percent over the same period last year.

Henkel’s cosmetics and toiletries division boosted EBIT a nominal 12.5 percent in the second quarter to 61 million euros, or $73.5 million, and sales on a euro basis grew 21 percent to 661 million euros, or $796.6 million. Adjusted for foreign exchange, the second quarter’s EBIT and sales figures grew 13.8 percent and 23.7 percent, respectively.

Henkel said the increases were primarily due to the Dial, ARL and Indola acquisitions, with the salon business — Indola — further supporting operating profit in the quarter. Business conditions remain difficult in Western Europe and Germany especially, the company noted, due to continued sluggish domestic consumer demand and stepped-up competition. Nevertheless, with Dial’s body care activities and the ARL and Indola acquisitions now included, Henkel expects the cosmetics and toiletries division to end fiscal 2004 with double-digit growth in operating profit when adjusted for currency effects.

Henkel confirmed its most recent group sales and earnings targets for 2004. These call for organic sales growth in the range of 2 percent after adjusting for foreign exchange and acquisitions/divestments. The Henkel Group, including Dial, is expecting EBIT growth in the midteens after currency adjustments, it said. Growth in earnings per share before goodwill amortization is now expected to be in the midteens due to a lower tax rate. — Melissa Drier

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