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Repositioning Hits Elizabeth Arden Results

Chairman, president and chief executive officer E. Scott Beattie reiterated that a successful restaging could ultimately double the brand’s sales.

The repositioning of its namesake brand put a crimp on Elizabeth Arden Inc.’s third-quarter earnings.

On Thursday, Arden reported a net loss of $1.3 million, or 4 cents a diluted share, compared with a net income of $2.2 million, or 7 cents a share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis — or excluding charges related to the Elizabeth Arden brand repositioning and acquisition-related expenses — net income per diluted share was 2 cents.

During the company’s earnings call on Thursday, Arden chairman, president and chief executive officer E. Scott Beattie reiterated that a successful restaging could ultimately double the brand’s sales. Last quarter, Beattie said the brand generates close to $1 billion in retail sales.

“We’re very excited and confident about the momentum we have on [the] Elizabeth Arden brand,” said Beattie, referring to the effort as a “significant undertaking.” He added, “We don’t turn a brand like Arden around in a quarter or two.”

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The company said it has begun to see momentum build behind the retooled brand. In the third quarter, net sales of Elizabeth Arden-branded products ticked up 1 percent in constant currency. Retail sales at the namesake brand’s flagship doors, which now carry the overhauled line, have increased 22 percent in North America since the conversion, said the company.

The company’s net sales for the three months ended March 31 gained 10.5 percent to $264.5 million, compared with $239.3 million in the year-ago period. Excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased by 11.2 percent. In North America, net sales increased 9.4 percent for the quarter and 12.2 percent fiscal year-to-date, driven by launches from Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. Arden said Bieber is slated to release his third scent this summer, and Minaj plans to introduce her second fragrance.

Internationally, net sales grew 14 percent in constant currency for the quarter, and 11.1 percent for fiscal year-to-date.