Byline: David Lipke

NEW YORK — Fourth-quarter and yearend earnings for Elizabeth Arden Inc. were diminished by charges relating to the company’s purchase of the Elizabeth Arden business from Unilever in January. Prior to the Arden acquisition the company was known as FFI Fragrances.
For the three months ended Jan. 31, the Miami-based fragrance and cosmetics marketer posted net income of $600,000, or 4 cents a diluted share, down 85.1 percent from year-ago quarterly income of $4 million, or 27 cents a share. Excluding aftertax integration charges of $3.6 million stemming from the Arden deal, earnings would have been $4 million, or 23 cents a share. This earnings-per-share figure is lower than 2000’s due to a larger number of shares outstanding.
Net sales in the fourth quarter reached $86.2 million, down 4.5 percent from sales of $90.3 million in the comparable quarter last year.
For fiscal year 2001, earnings dropped 12.3 percent, to $13.4 million, or 87 cents a diluted share, from $15.3 million, or 99 cents. Without the one-time integration charges, earnings rose to $16.8 million, or 87 cents a share.
Net sales last year were $382.3 million, up 5.8 percent from $361.2 million in the prior year.
E. Scott Beattie, chief executive, noted that the full financial benefits of the Arden purchase would not be seen until fiscal 2003, but he predicted the new company would achieve double-digit earnings growth over the next few years.
Elizabeth Arden’s stable of brands now includes Red Door, 5th Avenue, Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, and former FFI brands like Geoffrey Beene’s Grey Flannel, Halston and Wings by Giorgio Beverly Hills.