By  on May 8, 2008

BERLIN — The cosmetics and toiletries division of the Henkel Group boosted first-quarter operating earnings by 8 percent, or 13.4 percent on a currency adjusted basis, to 89 million euros, or $133.3 million at average exchange.

First-quarter sales for the division grew by 0.6 percent to 708 million euros, or $1.06 billion, a gain of 4.4 percent when adjusted for foreign exchange, while organic sales growth came in at 6.1 percent.

The Düsseldorf-based firm reported continued dynamic growth in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, as well as a particularly strong performance in Western Europe and North America.

Henkel Group, which also includes the Laundry & Homecare and Adhesives Technologies division, saw earnings before interest and taxes decrease by 0.9 percent to 320 million euros, or $479.3 million, but when adjusted for foreign exchange, EBIT was up 2.5 percent.

Group sales slipped by 2.3 percent to 3.16 billion euros, or $4.74 billion, primarily due to foreign exchange developments. On a currency-adjusted basis, first-quarter group sales increased 1.7 percent, with organic sales — adjusted for foreign exchange and acquisitions and divestments — growing 3.3 percent.

— Melissa Drier

International Boosts Douglas Perfumery

International business accounts for almost half of Douglas Perfumery sales, parent Douglas Group said Wednesday in its fiscal 2007-08 interim report.

During the first half of the fiscal year, the retailer's 659 doors in 22 countries outside Germany contributed 47 percent of sales, which rose 9 percent to 1.01 billion euros, or $1.48 billion, a 4.8 percent increase on a like-for-like basis.

The remainder of the retailer's 1,101 total stores is in its home market. The chain opened 44 stores in the first half, in addition to integrating more than 70 doors in the Baltic region through its August 2007 purchase of a 51 percent stake in Baltic Cosmetic Holding, Riga. Douglas said its strongest sales growth was seen in Poland, Holland, Italy, Russia and Spain.

In the second quarter ended March 31, Douglas Perfumery's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up slightly at 26 million euros, or $38.9 million, compared with 25.7 million euros, or $38.5 million, in the year-ago period. Sales rose 11.6 percent to 383.8 million euros, or $574.8 million, a 4.8 percent increase on a like-for-like basis.— M.D.

Inter Parfums Profits Surge 50 Percent

Inter Parfums Inc. reported Wednesday that profits leapt 50.3 percent to $8.7 million, or 42 cents a diluted share, in the first quarter, from $5.8 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

The results, a record for Inter Parfums, the firm stated, exceeded Wall Street analysts' estimate of 36 cents a share, according to Yahoo Finance.

As reported, the company's quarterly revenues jumped 45 percent to $123.2 million, from $85.1 million in the same year-ago period. Jean Madar, chairman and chief executive officer of Inter Parfums, noted Burberry's The Beat performed especially well and was responsible for "most of the gain."

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