While Helen of Troy Ltd. posted a slight net sales increase for its first fiscal quarter, sales for the beauty segment were down 17 percent.
Net income for the quarter was down slightly to $19 million, or $0.68 cents per diluted share, compared with $20.4 million, or $0.70 cents a diluted share year-over-year.
Net sales for the quarter were about $346.9 million, up 0.8 percent from $345.3 million in the prior-year period. That was driven by a nearly 30 percent increase in houseware sales, which were about $84.6 million. Beauty sales for the period declined 17 percent to $81 million, compared with $97.7 million for the prior-year period.
“We’re not satisfied with the quarter that we just had in beauty,” said Helen of Troy chief executive officer Julien R. Mininberg. “If you then dive into the specific parts of the beauty category that we play, you won’t see category growth the way you do broadly in things like color cosmetics.” Mininberg highlighted Pro Beauty Tools as one area in beauty where the business is expending, especially through distribution.
“Our housewares and health [and] home segments led the way during the quarter, with growth in revenues and profitability more than sufficient to offset softer sales in our beauty and nutritional supplements segments,” said Mininberg in a statement. “We believe this speaks to the strength of our diversified business model and the discipline with which we operate. Our housewares segment net sales grew 29.8 percent, with the core business contributing 7.8 percent, and the newly acquired Hydro Flask business contributing 22 percent toward growth. Our health [and] home segment net sales grew 2.3 percent, even as we rationalized certain parts of that business to further improve profitability. While beauty adjusted operating margin grew during the first quarter, sales in that segment performed below our expectations primarily due to slower replenishment orders from some key retailers as they adjusted their stocking patterns.”
For the year, Helen of Troy expects net sales between $1.57 to $1.62 million, which would account for consolidated sales growth between 1.6 percent and 4.8 percent, and core business sales growth of -2.3 percent and 0.6 percent.