NEW YORK — Citing a higher number of returns as well as weaker sales in key markets, Elizabeth Arden Inc. reported a decline in earnings on more robust total sales — thanks to Britney's Fantasy — for the first quarter.
Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 dropped to $1.9 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, from $4.8 million, or 16 cents a diluted share, a year ago. Net income results for the first quarter exclude the impact of a new program that expenses stock-based compensation.
Net sales at the company rose 7.2 percent to $227.4 million from $212.2 million in the prior year. The company said the launch of its new Fantasy Britney Spears fragrance in U.S. department stores and the Elizabeth Arden After Five fragrance in the international markets drove the sales growth.
"Despite a volatile economic environment and decreasing consumer confidence, we are pleased with the sales growth and product launches during the first quarter. The Fantasy Britney Spears fragrance, which was launched into U.S. department stores in September, is off to a strong start and currently ranks as the number-one or number-two fragrance launch with most retailers," said E. Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
The company's gross margin rate fell to 39.2 percent in the quarter from 42.2 percent in the prior year. The drop was partly attributable to a weak sales performance and higher returns provisions in Western Europe, according to a company statement.
Poor performance in a gift-with-purchase program for the Elizabeth Arden brand was also a factor. Additionally, the company said, the launch of the new Britney Spears fragrance increased advertising and marketing costs at the company.
“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