Inter Parfums Sales Gain 23.5% in 2005
PARIS — Inter Parfums SA, the Paris-based subsidiary of Inter Parfums Inc., reported that fourth-quarter 2005 sales rose 14.4 percent year-over-year to 46.8 million euros, or $55.6 million at average exchange.

The firm's full-year sales came in at 194.4 million euros, or $246.7 million, up 23.5 percent from 2004. At constant exchange rates, sales for the year spiked 24.6 percent.

By region, sales in North America grew by more than 50 percent over the prior year "despite the adverse currency effect," according to a statement from the firm, while sales in Western Europe "remained stable."

By brand, Burberry was up 11 percent to 131.3 million euros, or $166.6 million, for the full year; Christian Lacroix rose 33 percent to 4.9 million euros, or $6.2 million; Paul Smith grew 1 percent to 14.5 million euros, or $18.4 million; Celine was up 1 percent to 1.9 million euros, or $2.4 million, and S.T. Dupont declined 1 percent to 8.8 million euros, or $11.2 million.

The most recent additions to the firm's brand portfolio, Lanvin and Nickel, generated sales of 29.5 million euros, or $37.4 million, and 3.1 million euros, or $3.9 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, parent company New York-based Inter Parfums Inc. said that its fourth-quarter sales rose 3 percent to $65.5 million, while annual 2005 sales were up 16 percent to $273.4 million. The company also affirmed its 2006 sales and earnings guidance.

At comparable foreign currency exchange rates, sales in the quarter rose 9 percent, Inter Parfums said, and annual sales were up 17 percent.

Both sales figures, however, missed Wall Street's estimates. Analysts had been expecting the fourth quarter's sales to reach $66.4 million, and full-year sales were forecast to hit $274.5 million. But the company, which will release financial statements for the fourth quarter and full year on March 7, said it is expecting annual net profits to be $14.6 million, or 71 cents a share, which matches analysts' consensus estimates.

Looking ahead, Inter Parfums said 2006 sales should increase about 10 percent to $301 million, assuming the dollar remains at current levels, while net income is expected to increase 16 percent to $16.9 million, or 83 cents. The profit guidance includes an aftertax charge of 3 cents, reflecting stock-based compensation expenses.

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