NEW YORK — Both Dial Corp. and Alberto-Culver Co. reported increased sales and earnings Thursday, as consumables continued to hold their own despite the recession.

Dial, maker of Freeman and Sarah Michaels hair and bath products, reported fourth-quarter net income of $25.3 million, or 27 cents a diluted share, versus a year-ago net loss of $7.5 million, or 8 cents. Year-ago losses from continuing operations totaled $2.8 million, or 3 cents.

Net sales for the period ended Dec. 31 rose 6.2 percent to $426.6 million, versus $401.8 million in the year-ago period.

In light of the bankruptcy of Kmart, the firm’s second-largest customer, and uncertainty overseas, chief executive officer Herbert Baum was conservative about 2002 on a conference call.

“Internationally, sales fell 13.8 percent from last year’s fourth quarter, due primarily to an 18.3 percent sales decline in Argentina,” Baum said. “As we go through the year and that situation clarifies itself, we’ll make adjustments as necessary,” he added.

In its first quarter ended Dec. 31, Alberto-Culver’s net income jumped 24 percent, to $29.3 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, from $23.6 million, or 41 cents, a year ago. Excluding the positive effects of an accounting change in the year-ago period, net profits still would have risen 14.3 percent. Sales pushed ahead 8.9 percent, to $614.3 million from $563.9 million a year ago.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus