By  on August 17, 2007

Elizabeth Arden Inc. on Thursday posted fourth-quarter income compared with a year-ago loss, driven by new fragrance brands and higher sales in international markets.

For the three months ended June 30, earnings were $9.6 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, against a loss of $1.9 million, or 7 cents, in the year-ago period. Sales jumped 27.8 percent to $242.7 million from $189.9 million.

For the year, income climbed 13.8 percent to $37.3 million, or $1.30 a diluted share, from $32.8 million, or $1.10, last year. Sales grew 18.1 percent to $1.13 billion from $954.6 million.

"In the near term, we are excited by our innovation calendar for fiscal 2008, including the Mariah Carey fragrance, M by Mariah Carey, which is launching globally in September," said E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We are also looking forward to the continued performance of the Elizabeth Arden brand; the growth of our business in Asia Pacific and Europe, and the continued strength of our North American fragrance business."

Beattie also said, "The trends that drove our business for most of fiscal 2007 continued into the fourth quarter. We finished the year with strong performance across all of our business units. In fiscal 2007, net sales of our North American fragrance business advanced by 23 percent, and net sales internationally grew by 12 percent. From a brand perspective, net sales of Elizabeth Arden-branded skin care and color products, including Prevage antiaging treatment, increased by 16 percent, and net sales of our fragrance brands grew by 19 percent''

The cosmetics maker expects a net loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 of between 3 cents to 5 cents a diluted share, due to increased media spending for the Mariah Carey fragrance. For the first half, it expects diluted earnings per share between $1.15 and $1.20.

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