LOS ANGELES -- Citing strong sales in its U.S. business, Neutrogena Corp., manufacturer of skin and hair care products, reported second-quarter earnings jumped 21.5 percent.

Profits rose to $4.6 million, or 18 cents a share, from $3.8 million, or 14 cents, a year ago.

Sales for the quarter rose 9.7 percent, to $73 million from $66.6 million.

For the six months ended April 30, earnings rose 12.1 percent, to $9.3 million, or 36 cents, from $8.3 million, or 31 cents, before an accounting gain a year ago. After the $1 million gain, the company earned $9.4 million, or 35 cents.

Sales dipped 2.3 percent, to $133.7 million from $136.8 million.

Lloyd E. Cotsen, chairman and chief executive officer, said the strong results reflect an upturn in domestic business that began in the second quarter and continued into May.

He added that while overseas sales are mixed, particularly in Europe, U.S. sales are growing, propelled by HeatSafe, the company's new hair care product.

Neutrogena closed Wednesday at 19 1/8, up 3/8, in over-the-counter trading.

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