NEW YORK — Inter Parfums Inc. posted fourth-quarter profits that increased 12 percent, and said it was gearing up for an aggressive product rollout this year.
The fragrance firm reported net earnings for the period ended Dec. 31 of $3.8 million, or 19 cents a diluted share, from $3.4 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Inter Parfums' sales for the quarter increased 3 percent to $65.6 million from $63.8 million.
"While several new fragrances were introduced in 2005, we did not have any major product launches," said Inter Parfums chairman and chief executive officer Jean Madar in a statement. "Nonetheless, we enjoyed sales growth among the three largest fragrance brands in our portfolio, Burberry, Lanvin and Paul Smith."
Inter Parfums has a full plate of products planned for 2006, which includes the launch of Burberry London for women, a Burberry London men's scent this fall, as well as a Lanvin fragrance and new men's lines for Paul Smith, Nickel and S.T. Dupont.
The company also expanded its agreement with Gap Inc., and will now design and manufacture personal care products for Gap Outlet Stores and Banana Republic Factory Stores in North America. It expects to launch a fragrance, bath and home product collection in all Banana Republic stores this fall.
For the year-end period, Inter Parfums' net income dipped to $15.2 million from $15.7 million in 2004, while sales rose 16 percent to $273.5 million from $236 million.
The gains were fueled by prestige product sales, which surged 22 percent over 2005 and represented 98 percent of the company sales. Mass sales declined 18 percent.
The company nearly doubled its advertising spending during the year, to $40.8 million from $21.8 million in 2004. The increase largely reflects a new licensing agreement with Burberry, which took effect Jan. 1, 2005. Burberry accounts for approximately 60 percent of Inter Parfums sales.
Responding to a recent report in WWD that Inter Parfums was considering closing its compact Nickel spa in San Francisco, Madar said a licensee operates the compact San Francisco spa, and while it generates a "small revenue," the company has no plans to shut its doors. He said Inter Parfums is "not interested" in closing any of its spas, which are located in Paris and New York.As for its 2006 outlook, Inter Parfums expects net earnings to reach $16.9 million, and sales of $301 million.
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