Roberta Weiss

NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble’s double-digit percentage gains in its fourth quarter and year-end results were boosted by strong growth in its beauty care sector.<br><br>For the three months ended Dec. 31, earnings rose 21.7 percent to $1.82...

NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble’s double-digit percentage gains in its fourth quarter and year-end results were boosted by strong growth in its beauty care sector.

This story first appeared in the January 29, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, earnings rose 21.7 percent to $1.82 billion, or $1.30 a diluted share, from $1.49 billion, or $1.06, in the same year-ago quarter. The company beat Wall Street’s consensus expectations of $1.29 by a penny. Excluding restructuring charges, earnings in the same quarter last year would have been $1.59 billion, or $1.13 a share. Sales increased by 20.1 percent to $13.22 billion from $11 billion.

P&G said beauty care posted “excellent” results for the quarter, with 10 percent organic volume growth. Double-digit growth came from its Pantene, Head & Shoulders and Herbal Essences hair care and the Olay skin care brands. Total volume for the beauty care group jumped 45 percent, fueled largely in part by the acquisition of Wella AG, with sales rising 50 percent to $4.49 billion. The group contributed $681 million in earnings, up 34 percent, to the company’s total results.

P&G said for fiscal year 2004, it expects earnings to rise 25 percent and sales to increase between 13 and 17 percent. For the first quarter ending in March, the company expects sales to increase in the 14 to 18 percent range, with Wella expected to add 7 to 9 percent of sales growth. It did say that first-quarter earnings per share consensus estimates of $1.06 were “at the top end” of expectations.

For the year, earnings rose 21 percent to $3.58 billion, or $2.56 a diluted share, from $2.96 billion, or $2.10, a year ago. Excluding restructuring charges, earnings in 2002 would have been $3.17 billion, or $2.25 a share. Sales rose 16.6 percent to $25.41 billion from $21.8 billion.

— Vicki M. Young

Weiss Named at L’Oréal

NEW YORK — Roberta Weiss has been named senior vice president of marketing for L’Oréal USA’s Biotherm division. Weiss will report to Chris Harrison, the brand’s senior vice president and general manager.

In her new position, Weiss will be responsible for overseeing all marketing, creative and educational programs and strategies for the division. The brand currently markets treatment items, sun and body products, color cosmetics and men’s products in the U.S.

“Roberta is an expert in the American market, with great product knowledge and great knowledge of U.S. retailing,” said Edgar Huber, president of the Luxury Products division of L’Oréal USA, of which Biotherm is a part. “I am very happy that she has joined us and know she will do a great job for Biotherm.”

Weiss, who has spent 20-plus years in the industry, comes to Biotherm after 10 years at the Estée Lauder Cos., where she was most recently vice president of creative marketing worldwide for Origins. Weiss also spent 10 years in marketing at Avon, including stints on skin care and fragrance.

“Biotherm is a top brand in Europe and Asia, and I’m looking forward to helping to make it more of a market force in the U.S.,” Weiss told WWD. “The challenge here is to fine-tune the initiatives that have already been started, and to keep them going. Biotherm is a fresh, modern, young brand that is full of energy, and in fact we are positioning it as the youngest brand in the prestige marketplace. Our research has shown that its key consumer now is in the 20- to 30-year-old range, which is extremely young for a department store brand. I think Biotherm has a huge future in the U.S., and I want to be a part of it.”

Biotherm is now in about 150 doors in the U.S., including Macy’s, Burdine’s, Foley’s and Nordstrom, primarily in California, New York, Florida and Texas. By the end of the first half of this year, the brand will also open five new Macy’s doors in the New York area.

— Julie Naughton

New to Coty’s Game

NEW YORK — Adidas is launching Adidas Active Anti-Perspirants for Women, designed for women who work hard and play hard.

The latest additions to the Adidas franchise will hit stores in February. Coty claims its antiperspirant is different from others because it features the patented Smart Technology, which releases a key ingredient to kill odor-causing bacteria on demand. It delivers 24-hour protection with an alcohol-free, nonstinging formula.

In a solid stick form, the antiperspirant is available in Icy Burst, a fresh floral and ozone scent with a hint of fruity citrus, and Pure Powder, a powdery bergamot scent with rose, vanilla and soft spices. A 1.6-oz. tube is $2.69 and a 2.6-oz. size is $3.69.