Alberto Culver Co.’s second-quarter profits slid 3.3 percent as its hair care business picked up momentum and helped the firm ward off some of the recession’s ills.
Earnings for the quarter ended March 31 dipped to $28.1 million, or 28 cents a diluted share, compared with profits of $29 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Reduced 10.1 percent by currency fluctuations, net sales slid 1.4 percent for the quarter to $344.3 million, from $349.4 million.
Gross margin fell to 50.3 percent of sales from 53.3 percent in the prior-year quarter, mainly because of currency shifts and higher raw material costs related to the spike in oil prices last fall. The company said it has plans and projects in place to grow gross margin over time.
“Our business continues to be sound, with great brands, an experienced and focused leadership team and a strong balance sheet that allows us to invest both behind our equities and our infrastructure,” said V. James Marino, president and chief executive officer, on the company earnings call. “Our long-term strategy of growth and margin expansion remains in tact, and our team is committed to continuing to deliver results and creating value for our shareholders.”
Advertising and marketing expenditures were $57.6 million, up from the first quarter but 14.5 percent below year-ago levels. Lower media costs and a shift toward trade promotion in the marketing mix contributed to the reduction, as did the changes in currency.
The Melrose Park, Ill.-based firm, whose brands include TRESemmé, Alberto VO5, Nexxus and St. Ives, reported first-half profits fell 0.3 percent to $59.7 million, or 60 cents a share, from $59.9 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the period grew 0.7 percent to $697.2 million versus $692.6 million.
Shares of the company fell $1.93, or 8.4 percent, to close at $20.93 on Monday.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast