PERFUMANIA LOSS: Perfumania Holdings Inc. posted net losses of $2 million, or 65 cents a diluted share, during the second fiscal quarter ended Aug. 2, compared with a loss of $413,000, or 14 cents, in the same period last year, the firm reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week. The widened losses were due to operating costs associated with new store openings — the firm operated an average of 320 stores during the most recent quarter, compared with 274 stores in the year-ago period. Quarterly sales were down 15.4 percent to $62.1 million, from $73.4 million a year ago, on a $16.7 million drop in wholesale sales to affiliates to $4.7 million. Retail sales, however, which accounted for the bulk of total revenues, rose 5.5 percent to $57.4 million. The results do not include performance of fragrance producer and distributor Model Reorg Inc., which, as previously reported, finalized a merger with Perfumania Holdings (at the time called E Com Ventures Inc.) in mid-August. Perfumania Holdings expects to file pro forma financial data for the combined companies in late October.

STAYING THE COURSE: Procter & Gamble Co.’s race toward innovation will not slow, as the economy continues to sputter, the company’s vice chair and chief financial officer Clayt Daley told investors during a presentation at the Bank of America 38th Annual Investment Conference on Tuesday. “The most important thing we can do is continue to lead innovation…that’s the best defense we have,” he said, citing Clairol Perfect 10 as an example of new technology that warrants a premium price point. Daley said the company expects energy and commodity costs to increase about $3 billion in fiscal 2009. To cover those costs, he said P&G would need to increase pricing about 3 percent around the world. Acknowledging the recent slide of the price of oil, he said, “If oil prices stay in the low $90s [a barrel], as they are today, then there clearly will be some benefit to our cost outlook.” He noted that P&G’s cost projections were based on the price of oil ranging between $110 to $120 a barrel. Year-to-date, the cost per barrel is about $115, he added.

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