Elizabeth Arden Inc. delivered sales growth of nearly 15 percent in the third quarter, fueled by strides in the mass retail channel and international markets, and new brands such as With Love Hilary Duff.

"Our business continued to benefit from a diversified business model," E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer, told analysts Thursday.

Net income for the quarter rose to $3.2 million, or 11 cents a diluted share, from $702,000, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago period as sales for the quarter ended March 31 increased 14.6 percent, to $219.2 million from $191.3 million. For the nine-month period, net income was $27.7 million, or 97 cents a share, from $34.7 million, or $1.17, in the prior year, on sales that gained 15.7 percent, to $884.8 million from $764.6 million a year ago.

The company said net sales of its North America fragrance business grew 17 percent during the quarter. Department store fragrance sales were soft due to retail consolidation, and mass fragrance sales surged 26 percent, helped, in part, by Arden's doubling its business in CVS Pharmacy and Kohl's Department Stores, which has doubled the space of its fragrance department. Despite Britney Spears' personal troubles, including several rehab stays, during the quarter, her fragrance franchise with Arden increased 25 percent in the mass channel. Across all channels, Beattie said, the bad press resulted in a sales drop of 10 percent. A new scent, Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears, was launched in the department store channel. Arden's international business gained 10 percent, led by strong growth in Asia Pacific, which increased 24 percent, and travel retail, which gained 15 percent in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, Arden forecasted revenue growth of 14 percent to 15 percent. — Molly Prior

Superdrug Taps Douglas, Barton

LONDON — Gavin Douglas may have won the Fashion Fringe budding designer competition here only last year, but he already has designs on the high street.

In September, Superdrug will introduce in its U.K. stores a line of accessories designed by Douglas. The health and beauty retailer will also sponsor an accessories award at the next Fashion Fringe event."I'm delighted about our relationship with Superdrug because I admire their pioneering stance and the fact that they are a rarity in the high street because they are able to think out of the box — something which Fashion Fringe does all the time," Colin McDowell, Fashion Fringe's creative director, said in a statement.

Douglas' collection, comprising a tote, a toiletries bag and a condom case, will bow in 970 Superdrug doors in the U.K. Participants in September's Fashion Fringe will be invited to dream up a line of accessories for spring 2008.

"We're delighted to give new, young talent an opportunity to showcase their designs on every high street in the U.K.," Gary Donoghue, Superdrug's fashion director, said in the statement.

In other Superdrug news, the retailer has tapped Mischa Barton to front its 2007 skin cancer awareness campaign dubbed SAFE, for Skin Awareness for Everyone.

The actress will appear in online and in-store ads meant to promote skin safety in the sun, beginning in May.

"I spend a lot of my life in the sun and know how important it is to be sun-aware and protect your skin," Barton said in a statement.

SAFE is a partnership between Superdrug and the U.K.'s Institute of Cancer Research. — Jocelyn Black

Lancôme Launches Counter

NEW YORK — Lancôme unveiled a new counter last Monday at Bloomingdale's 59th Street location, a 1,000-square-foot space designed to maximize points of contact with the store's customers, according to Eric Lauzat, president of Lancôme in the U.S.

"Bloomingdale's is a special partner to us, and we wanted to bring a new, modern and elegant installation to the store," said Nina White, deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing for the L'Oréal-owned brand. "The new space has a more open design that invites clients in so they can get the best possible service."

An additional 200 square feet was added to the existing Lancôme area and the new space is manned by 22 beauty advisers. Customers can view the brand's full complement of beauty offerings in the space, and can receive services like skin care evaluations, makeovers and brow shaping.Between 200 and 300 customers visit the counter on a daily basis, according to Lancôme.

Although executives wouldn't comment, industry sources estimated the new Bloomingdale's counter could generate $4.8 million in first-year sales. — Michelle Edgar

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