The company said that sales grew 6.6 per cent to reach $212.2 million, compared to $199.0 million in the corresponding quarter ending 30 September, 2003. On the back of this net income increased to $4.8 million, as opposed to $1.35 million in 2003.
The company said that the significant increase in net income was largely attributable to a higher proportion of net sales of owned and licensed brands as well as a continuation of the company's warehouse consolidation programme.
The company also pointed out that it had achieved better than expected earnings despite the fact that it experienced a 16.7 per cent increase in selling, general and administrative expenses over the prior year period driven due to a continued increase in advertising and marketing expenditures to promote its leading brands.
The increase in net sales was led by the much-lauded launch of the Britney Spears' Curious fragrance in the US market, together with the performance of the Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman fragrance. The latter fragrance was successfully launched in the US this Spring and is expected to impact on the next quarters results following its launch in Europe back in September.
On the other hand, the company said that sales in the US would have been even stronger if it had not been for the impact of the hurricane season which impacted sales in the south eastern states.
E. Scott Beattie, Elizabeth Arden CEO, said that he expected even better performances from the Britney Spear's and Provocative Woman fragrances as the company entered the holiday season. " Operationally, we are currently tracking ahead of our planned full year savings related to the consolidation of our distribution facilities," he added.
Looking towards the all-important second quarter's results the company said that the continuing strength of its core brands, combined with the success of new launches led it to believe that a net sales increase of 8-10 per cent is achievable. This means that net sales for the first half of the year should reach between $365.0 million to $375.0 million.