By  on February 9, 2009

Skin care product launches in China and year-ago restructuring charges helped Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. more than double its fourth-quarter profits, the company reported Friday.

In the period ended Dec. 31, the Provo, Utah-based firm posted net income of $14.5 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, a 140.2 percent increase from $6 million, or 9 cents a share, in the prior-year period. In the 2007 quarter, the company incurred $17 million in pretax restructuring charges.

Quarterly sales were up 3.8 percent to $317.6 million from $306.1 million a year ago.

“Our success was largely attributed to positive momentum in our skin care business,” Truman Hunt, president and chief executive officer of Nu Skin, told Wall Street analysts during a conference call Friday.

Growth in Japan also helped drive results, said Hunt, who added that the Japanese market continues to be a target for future growth.

“Our skin care business is capitalizing on the success of the Galvanic Spa System, [which launched in China,” he said.

Full-year profits jumped 48.9 percent to $65.3 million or $1.02 a share, from 43.9 million, or 67 cents a share, in 2007. Annual sales reached $1.25 billion, a 7.8 percent increase compared with $1.16 billion during the prior year.

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